For junior Morgan Wildman, helping people with special needs is not charity work but is a story waiting to be told. By helping special needs children, Morgan views it as a way of using her gift to help others, and she says that she sees it as her role on Earth.
“I believe that with so much bad in the world, once you find something that makes you happy, never stop pursuing it,” Morgan said. “Not only does [helping people with special needs] make me happy, but it [also] gives me a purpose in life.”
Every year, Morgan goes to a summer camp called Special Needs Week at the Christian Reformed Conference Grounds in Grand Haven. She and the other campers dedicate six hours a day for a week spending time with people who have special needs.
Morgan started participating in service projects in sixth grade, and she started going to Special Needs Week the summer she was going into her freshman year. When partnered up with a kid at the camp, Morgan always found it enjoyable to be able to help.
“My first year I was paired up with a girl named Mandie,” Morgan said.“She had no way of communication, but her smile and happiness spoke louder than any words ever could.”
Morgan’s passion drives from her love for the helping people, along with being able to meet and listen to others’ stories. Going onto her fourth year of helping, the many stories she hears brings her nothing but joy.
For Morgan, a lot of the motivation for what she does comes from her family.
“My great grandparents on my dad’s side of the family had children with learning disabilities,” Morgan said. “[Helping children with learning disabilities] was a passion of theirs, and I feel, in a way, it got passed down to me.”
Morgan cemented her passion for helping people with special needs in sixth grade when two of her best friends, who also had special needs, ended up changing her life for the better. Their names are Alex and Izzy.
“When I met Alex and Izzy, they really did inspire me,” Morgan said. “Alex who has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Izzy who had Down Syndrome showed me, through being friends with them, that this is really what I want to do with my life.”
Meeting Izzy and Alex set a perfect image for what Morgan hopes to do as a profession one day. Along with her love for helping special needs people, she has a love for sign language and using it to help others in another way.
In her second year volunteering, Morgan met a girl name Kinsey who was non-verbal. To communicate with her, she had to use sign language.
American Sign Language has been a huge benefit to Morgan’s life, and she hopes to be able to use it for the rest of her life. Following her dream of becoming a middle school special education teacher and using sign language and her ability to help others will surely be useful, according to Morgan.
“I am able to make at least a small difference in this world,” Morgan said. “The people I have met and are able to work with make this world an overall better place.”