In the fall of 2009, I was starting my sixth grade year at Simmons Middle School. My sister, Lauren, told me many wonderful stories about the school. There were many activities that appealed to me, but the one thing that caught my attention more than anything were the Sunshine Helpers. A Sunshine Helper is a student who helps out with special needs students.
When the time came, my application form was filled out and turned in. I had all the experience required, so I had a strong feeling the leaders would choose me. Days went by. Students around me were chosen, but not me. After a couple months passed, I eventually accepted defeat, gave up, and stopped anticipating becoming a Sunshine Helper. My friends told me that there would be another opportunity for me next year, but there was still a part of me that doubted my strength and ability.
After the second nine weeks passed had started, my confidence achieved an all time high. One of my friends told me that new Sunshine Helpers were selected every nine weeks. But as the second nine weeks passed, there was still no word.
Finally, in the third nine weeks, my name was announced over the intercom. I immediately was confused. Especially, when the intercom announced, “Ashley Henton, report to the seventh grade principal’s office.” Slowly, my feet uneasily walked to the office. Once I got there, a woman and another girl greeted me. The woman told us we had been accepted as Sunshine Helpers. My happiness escalated, and this time, I was not going to be disappointed. When the lady walked me back to class, she asked me if being a Sunshine Helper still interested me. Excitedly, I told her yes.
It was an amazing experience getting to help with special needs kids, and I sincerely hope I can do it again. It was my job to help and teach the kids, but in the end, the kids taught me. They made me realize that it was good and important to give back to the community no matter how difficult the experience is.