Everyone has a right to do what they love. Whether it be to run, jump, swim, or play ball, everyone deserves the right to participate with their peers. My brother is often excluded from sports at school. He is not allowed to be on the baseball team because he is 15 years old and in the eighth grade. He isn’t even allowed to be a manager for the team. Baseball is what he loves; the history, the camaraderie, the field. I believe in fair play. I believe in equal opportunity.
My brother has Autism, developmental delays, and hypotonia. He will be 16 years old in 17 days. He is starting eighth grade for the second time this week. I spoke to him on the phone yesterday and he said this year will be the year he plays baseball with the “typical” kids in his gym class. I know that unfortunately he will be denied the opportunity to even try out for the team. The children in his “self-contained” class consists of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. Each of the 15 children in his class have a special talent no one else has—they don’t see color, age, or disability. I believe in their dreams of equal opportunity.
As I look out at the students in my classes, I see so many faces that are working towards a degree in equal opportunity. I feel privileged to be a part of a such a strong group of people that want to dedicate their lives to helping others achieve their dreams. I believe in the power of perseverance, the power of love, and the power of hope. I believe in fair play. I believe everyone deserves a chance to do what they love and share what they love with others. I believe in equal opportunity.