My name is Khoury Cline, and I am a senior at Bishop Lynch High School. I am a longtime resident of our neighborhood, as well.

I was recently given the opportunity to work at Casa View Elementary School with the Special Education Department. I was a teacher’s aid in the classroom, and if I may say, I learned a lot from those precious children.

On the first day of my service, I walked in the classroom, like a typical teenager does, but there was something different about this classroom. There were beautiful children’s faces staring up at me.

These children were mentally and physically handicapped. I had seen those kind of children before, but I had never had the chance to work with them.

One week of service went by, and I was so enthusiastic about returning and seeing all of the children. They were so happy and eager to learn, and I was just as eager to teach them. We became friends instantly. My friendship with these children will live in my heart for the rest of my life.

As the end of my senior service draws to a close, I look back on the days I spent with them, the friendships I made and the memories I will never forget, and I have to smile.

I like to think I gave them something. A better understanding of learning, or perhaps something more?

I know that they have given something back to me. These children have taught me how to love and respect them with the fullest of my heart. I wish I could see them grow into adulthood, and see them gain the same opportunities we are all entitled to.

But even if I am unable to keep in touch with their lives, I wish them the fullest and happiest life. These children will always hold a special part in my heart. I love you all.

I would like to commend Casa View Elementary for allowing these children a place to grow and learn in the presence of people who care. Casa View is a fine school. Keep up the great work.

I wanted to share this special experience I had with these children with my family and friends.

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