Featured Campaign: Help Casey change the lives of special needs youth

Who I am: My name is Cassandra(Casey) Beck. I am a 20 year old Fitness and Health Promotion graduate currently furthering my education by going forth towards my Bachelors of Therapeutic Recreation. I currently work full time with my schooling and am paying my own way through school and to live in Richmond Hill to pursue school. I have 3 immediate family members and a dog all living in Cornwall who I miss everyday.

About my goal: I am currently on a slow track to pursuing my dream to develop programs for various special needs populations to be integrated in schools, hospitals and general leisure programs, etc. I want to promote optimal inclusion for special needs populations as well as benefit and aid in their ailments associated with their dissabilities. These programs will ideally assist with coping strategies, motor control, and cognitive development. I want to formulate various programs that can be adopted and implemented in a variety of environments. This will assist those who seek to accomidate special needs populations or look for ways to assist them. Through integration and the recieved benefits these programs will offer, ideally there will be increased cognitive function, communication skills, coping strategies as well as overall ease in physical movement and an increase in a leisure lifestyle.

Why Youth Special Needs?: I want to work with youth because starting young will increase chances of success and maintenance throughout maturation. I am passionate to decrease the stigma towards special needs population and ease integration with “general populations”. This passion drives from a volunteer experience I recieved in highschool. I was able to partner with the program “Ballerina Dreams”. Through that I worked one on one with a young girl who had developmental dissabilities. For privacy reasons I will name her as Anon. When I started this weekly program with her she was hesitant to trust me and had extremely limited mobility, barely being able to stray from her walker. In a matter of 3 years through this program I saw remarkle changes in Anon. She could take some steps, stand on her own for 10-20 seconds at a time, communicate better and listen to directions with ease. I watched this program based upon basic dance principles help her. That’s when I realized maybe recreation and therapy are the key to progress when looking at dissabilities. If there were more programs that implented these concepts and contained more research and we’re on a daily bases, maybe Anon would be able to be out of her walker by now. She inspired me to want to ease the lives of special needs populations. Currently I attend school 18 hours a week and work full time to barely make ends meet.

Profits: I don’t want this campaign to be thought of as a pity fund, what I plan to do with any profits would be to put it towards my tuition going forth so I don’t need to work full time and can volunteer with special needs to further develop an understanding to create these succesful programs. All money raised will go directly towards my tuition. I want to be able to have an understanding for the needs of these populations so I can create specific programs designed to assist while encompassing a therapy approach to recreation. Once these programs are developed they can be adopted nation wide and implemented in a variety of ways, bettering the lives of special needs population. Many issolate special needs populations or have a stigma towards them due to their lack of understanding and knowledge towards the subject matter. I want to end the ignorance and make a difference, I just need a little help from my friends.

What I’ve done so far :Currently I have developed a program for non verbal populations to work on their communication skills, understanding of emotions and facial expressions as well as how to express oneself in an appropriate manner given various situations . This program alone could close a communication gap between non verbal populations easing their communication with others, improving their social skills and over all esteem.

Lets help Casey reach her goal: Contribute here.

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