On March 5, 1998, 13 out of 90 young men from the Ramey-Estep Home for Boys went on a special trip. It wasn't like a big special trip to the Bahamas or Florida. It was to Huntington, West Virginia, which isn't far from Ashland. We went only because we had a lot of empathy and, believe me, to attend this event, you had to have a lot of empathy. We attended The Very Special Arts March Fest. It was filled with all kinds of art booths and games, a whole day of fun. The fest was put on for kids who were physically handicapped. Some were deaf, blind, or mentally retarded. This was my very first experience working with kids like that. I had a lot of fun. I taught little kids how to sponge paint (some of them were even afraid to touch the paint). I really didn't think about their situations at the time, but when I had some time I sat and cried and thought about the hard times those kids were going through. Nobody can say that kids with disabilities can't teach you anything, because while I was there little girl named Tonya (who was just about five, looked normal, but was deaf) taught me sign language and also sang "Jack and Jill" in sign language for me. fl
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.