The Amanda Show


Going into my freshman year of high school, I was instantly overwhelmed by the thought of responsibilities. Not only was I nervous to start high school, but was also anxious about facing harder classes and completing the annual community service requirement at CHS. Without any idea of how to fulfill this obligation, as it seemed to be just another annoying graduation requirement, I joined the Westhills Champions baseball program with a few of my friends. I soon learned that I would be paired with a special needs “buddy” and help him or her, along with his or her teammates, play baseball once a week. I did not know how to play baseball or much about kids with disabilities and was extremely nervous to meet my buddy, Timothy. My nerves quickly faded when a little blonde boy with bright green eyes and a wide smile ran over, excited to play baseball on a real team. Little did I know that this six year old boy would completely change my perspective on life. 

As I continued to meet at Westhills baseball every Sunday morning, I gradually spent less time talking with my friends and more time meeting every player on the team. The longer I spent with these dynamic kids, the more I realized that they were just like everyone else but were held back by certain disabilities. Naturally, I began to look forward to Sundays to spend time with my special teammates. While I was there to help Timothy and the other buddies, the reality was that they were helping me even more. I have watched them overcome obstacles to accomplish their goals and gain confidence despite their limitations. I learned that there is so much joy in the simplest things life has to offer: playing a game of catch, laughing with a friend and helping others. This opportunity has blossomed into far more than ever expected. It has pushed me to learn about issues and obstacles that others face. 

Indeed, my time with Timothy and my other teammates has inspired me to pursue a path specializing in pediatric medicine and to focus my future on researching childhood disabilities. I look forward to helping children like Timothy overcome life’s challenges and reach their goals.