The description of Down syndrome may lead people to think that a person has less of something. People think my students have less than others, less knowledge, less ability, less something. I am here to tell about one of my students that has more to give, more love, more understanding, more patience, more drive, and more ability than many people I know. In the time I have known Ashley, I have watched her mature into a bright, young girl who can do anything she sets her mind to.
Ashley learned how to ride a two-wheel bike at age 14 and picked up a golf club and learned to hit the ball her first time out. Ashley rides horses in equestrian events and plays soccer. She plays basketball and has gone to the state tournament two years in a row, winning a medal each time. Ashley took up bowling when she turned 15 and improves her scores each week. Ashley went to summer camp for a whole week, her first time away from home by herself and loved it! Ashley is a volunteer at the children's museum and works with younger kids in their day camp.
Academically, Ashley made the Honor Roll several quarters in her middle school career. She is studying hard right now to pass the Constitution test! Ashley is very good at science, history, and algebra. She can often be found reading a chapter book or two throughout the day. Ashley studies very hard and prides herself in getting good grades and doing her best. She is a member of the Cardinal Council group, 8th grade chorus and she is known to sing a Reba song every now and then (she is her #1 fan).
Ashley has a loving, caring and encouraging family that has helped to provide her with the opportunities she needs to be who she wants to be in life. Her Mom and Kathy have set no limits to what Ashley can do and they have taught her how to deal with life's ups and downs, do the best she can do and have faith that things happen for a reason. Ashley is a true inspiration to people who take the time to get to know her and allow her to show them what she's got!
Thank you Ashley, for teaching me so much about life, love, and learning. I believe people are brought into our lives for a reason, and I have been blessed to have you, Mom, and Kathy in my life. I am truly a better person for having known you these past three years. I look forward to watching you succeed in high school and after! Ashley not only has more to give than many people, the world has more to receive because students like Ashley are here!