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1 EDUCATION DEPARTMENT ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARD SPEECH CAITLIN WALTERS APRIL 2007 “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I put aside childish ways.” This thought best explains my growth experience over the last four years at DeSales University. Entering this University I had what can only be explained as a sheltered view of the world. Growing up in a loving family I never wanted for anything… attention, love, toys, food, or otherwise. As a result, I believed that all children had the same luxuries that I was blessed with throughout my youth. In high school there was no question of “if” I would go on to college, but only where I would choose to attend. It was the logical next step after high school, an idea that I thought was universal. Looking back I can’t imagine I was that naive, thinking that the world was fair; a view that would change over the next four years by a string of experience that can only be classified as eye opening and life changing. During one of these experiences, my first trip with DeSales to Houston, Texas, I was fully exposed to the impact that poverty and low expectations of students’ potential have on the human condition. It was an experience that not only opened my eyes but broke my heart. At first as I looked at the people that we served on that first day working in the soup kitchen all of the stereotypes that I have heard ran through my head… lazy, druggie, alcoholic, poor, minority, waste of taxpayers money, and unmotivated. But as I looked into the faces of these men, women, and children I saw in each individual the faces of students that I have encountered throughout my experiences in different classrooms during my time as an education major. I could not help but wonder about the path they traveled from having limitless potential to now being in the most vulnerable of positions.
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2 As opportunities presented themselves, I talked with individuals about their life journey and what brought them to the position that they were currently in. I was astounded to find that they were eager to tell their stories, to be heard, and to feel that someone genuinely cared about their existence. As I listened I found that there was a common theme… at one point these individuals had hopes and dreams for their lives. However, somewhere along the line they lost
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This note was uploaded on 08/05/2011 for the course ACCT 11212 taught by Professor Davis during the Spring '11 term at York College of Pennsylvania.

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