Overcoming challenges in education

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Child Find Program in Mississippi is a great way to recognize the value and potential of each student.

The program is an ongoing effort to identify and evaluate children under 21 who may have a disability. These efforts go toward helping identify a student’s challenges early so they have the best opportunity to succeed in life, and the program truly works.

As a matter of fact, I was placed in a similar program in North Carolina.

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Growing up, I developed a speech impediment. Luckily, my parents recognized it early on and notified my school district about it when I was in elementary school.

Because of this program, I was able to fix my speech impediment and in college, I was the voice of my university’s sports programs on our radio and television stations.

I do not hold many memories from my elementary days, but what I do recall are fond memories of those speech classes.

In the middle of class, I was called to the office at least three times a week, where, in my eyes, I was excused to play games.

In those speech classes, it was a group of three to sometimes four students my age who also had speech impediments.

Along with our teacher, we would sit around a table for what seemed like hours and play fun board games that actually taught us proper speech techniques like pronunciation, syllables and many others.

These memories stuck in my head for a reason, because they were fun and quite frankly, I believe they are the reason I pursued a broadcasting career in college.

If it weren’t for my parents’ early recognition of my disability, I would not be doing what I love as a journalist.

It is important to identify a potential disability early on because every child deserves a chance to chase their dreams without inhibitors.