I believe in moving forward during tough times. Remaining optimistic, not giving up, and continuing to work hard are keys to making it through a disheartening situation. When I was in Special Olympics, I used to play such sports as poly hockey and basketball. There were times in both of these sports when I experienced tough times and had to pull it together and keep moving forward. Poly Hockey is a sport in which the players play on a gym floor as opposed to skating on ice. During the first year that I played poly hockey, my team won most of the games. In November of 1986, we were at the final game of the state poly hockey tournament, which was at Michigan State University. The discouraging part of the game was that the other team smoked us by 15-2. Since I was the goalie, having the other team score that many goals past me was very disheartening indeed. With the encouragement from my teammates and coach, I ended up getting through the situation. We did, however, end up getting a second place trophy. During basketball season my team participated in a tournament in Muskegon.We played a team called Marquette, which beat us, nearly as bad as that hockey team did back at Michigan State. Despite this second humiliation, I remained optimistic and we won the majority of our basketball games for the season. When I was in the Wellerwood Autism Program, there was a child-care worker named Reggie Thomas. Reggie was a fun person to be with, he would chaperone in all of our Special Olympics Tournaments. My friends and I practiced archery with him, and he taught us how to make cool drawings. However in the fall of 1989, we received news that Reggie passed away due to mysterious circumstances. When we first heard the news, everyone refused to believe it. Reggies passing was tough for us because he was so young. Another trying time came when I was in middle school, dealing with kids I did not know. Some of them were nice, but most were mean. Middle School was one of the roughest periods of my life; still I thought to myself ” remain optimistic.” I lived in the Grand Rapids area from 1979 to 2003. My mom died of cancer on September 7 , 2003. Her death really shook me up. I began to worry about my future. I relocated to Cheboygan to be near my sister. Despite my loss, I remained optimistic. I work part-time and go to North Central Michigan College. My goal is to get an associates degree in general education, which will make me eligible to become a teacher’s aide or a child-care worker in special education. When I get this degree, I plan to get a position in a school district near Grand Rapids where I grew up. By doing so, I could return to the part of Michigan in which I lived around during much of my life. By working for this goal, I continue to remain optimistic about my future.