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My Major Passion

It was last year when a mentor remarked about my resume (which was then in progress), “You’ve done a lot of work with kids.” This relatively simple statement served as a wake up call to me. Up until then, I had taken all of my volunteer experience with children for granted. It never occurred to me that perhaps there was a reason my heart unconsciously gravitated toward the children’s ministry at church, for instance. Though the majority of girls my age baby-sit as a part time job, I legitimately find joy and fulfillment in spending time with kids, which I feel is not so common. Furthermore, I reasoned that because there are so few people in the world who enjoy children, God must have wired me this way for His purpose. I also took Child Development at my high school last year, and plan to take Child Development 2 next semester. Therefore, I hope to study Early Childhood Education in college because of my love of children, and my extensive prior experience in working with them.

Growing up in the church has blessed my life in many ways, but more specifically, it has given me opportunities to work with children that would not have otherwise been presented to me. My favorite church event to volunteer with is Vacation Bible School. Every summer for nearly a decade I get to lead a group of kids throughout different activities during one week. Not only do I find organizing the group enjoyable, but I love getting to know the kids and watching them have fun. Most recently I worked with 3rd grade girls who are just old enough to carry on conversations and are very sweet and compliant, but I still possess a soft spot for the preschoolers who trust so easily, and have not yet learned the art of masking their emotions.

Last year I decided to take Child Development at my high school to fill my career and technology credit which is necessary to graduate. Though our class learned mainly through videos and our textbooks, I was surprised and delighted when I heard that every week we would take walks down to the Early Childhood Center and spend the class period playing with the kids. My heart came alive during that short half hour as I asked about their pets, played dress up, and worked on puzzles with the children. Nathan was a little boy I grew close to, and at five years old he was one of the oldest children in his class. I was instantly surprised by how easily Nathan verbally articulated his thoughts, yet he was also uncommonly sweet, and still possessed a child’s innocent and endearing disposition. While some of the kids preferred to play alone, Nathan always asked if I would work on the craft with him, or play his favorite game of tossing bean bags into a small hole from a distance of a few feet. Though his bean bag rarely made it into the targeted spot, Nathan never became frustrated. I played, as well, and was not much better. After the fourth or fifth time I missed, Nathan said to me, “Oh no. That’s okay, maybe you’ll get it next time.” This struck me, because rarely have children that age learned to empathize and then encourage other kids. In the end, this meant more than the sad expression that crossed his face when I told him it was time for me to leave, or the little snowflake he made for me at the end of the semester. I miss Nathan, and left the preschool on that last day with knowledge that I would never see him again.

While most people do not view children’s actions or words with such delight, my heart is so encouraged and brought to life when I am around them. I believe that God gave me this appreciation of children and that I should acknowledge it as a gift to use for His Kingdom. Though I have not decided a career path, I am confident that it will involve working with children. I hope that the Early Childhood Education major will equip me with more tools to help me better relate to and understand children





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