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Softball player & Super Friends leader Berkley Matthews (Photo: Natalie Matthews)
Over the past two years, I’ve had the most amazing opportunity to interact with a very unique group of students. As a member of Super Friends, a club at my school where I frequently meet up with special-needs students, I have built some of the strongest and most rewarding friendships I've ever had.
As a result, these students have taught me an essential meaning of life: finding happiness. They never fail to put a smile on my face during our lunch hangouts, quick talks in the hallway, and fun activities. Their positivity is infectious.
Having them as members of the MHS student body enhances the diversity of our school, and it also gives volunteers an opportunity to learn more about people who are living with special needs.
In fact, after getting to know these students, I encouraged my softball coach to begin a program with the special needs department where we, the softball team, meet up with the special needs students monthly and do different fun activities, such arts and crafts, and gift them with goodie bags. I enjoy putting a smile on their faces because in return, they have taught me the value of friendship, gratitude, and the acceptance of differences.
I enjoy my time with my Super Friends group so much that I am constantly in communication with them. For example, some Facetime me while others send me selfies.
Through assisting these students, I’ve gained a greater understanding of diversity and that no one person is the same. We are all working together to understand and embrace that fact. That’s why I encourage each person to find activities that champion diversity and inclusion.