BY RACHEL ALEXANDER
As the school year comes to a close, senior Sydney Saul has already started preparing for her life after high school. She said she plans to teach special education after becoming inspired by her mother’s influence as an educator.
“My mom is a special education teacher and I have always grown up seeing the impact she has made on her students,” Sydney Saul said. “I want to make the same impact she does and change lives just like her.”
According to Sydney Saul, she will be attending the University of Central Florida this summer where she will fulfill her passion by majoring in special education.
“I’ve worked with individuals with special needs a lot throughout the years,” Sydney Saul said. “The more I do, the more I realize how ready and excited I am for [special education] to be [in] my life.”
She said her involvement as Vice President in Best Buddies has prepared her tremendously for her future goals.
“I’ve met so many unique individuals through Best Buddies who have all taught me so much,” Sydney Saul said. “The organization has also given me the opportunity to learn from some amazing special education teachers.”
Although she said she is scared to leave her family and friends, she said she knows it is the next step in her life.
“When times get hard or when I’m annoyed with school, I know that it will all be worth it because I will be able to do what I love every day,” Sydney Saul said.
Sydney Saul’s mother, Debbie Saul, said she is inspired by her daughter’s passion and she is beyond excited to see her reach her dreams in the future.
“I know she is so passionate about teaching and I cannot wait to watch her become [a teacher],” Debbie Saul said.
Debbie Saul said it is an unreal feeling knowing that she has inspired her daughter to follow in her footsteps in becoming a special education teacher. She said her daughter has showed her there is hope for the future when it comes to the field of education.
“I know [my daughter] will continue what I do,” Debbie Saul said. “She will advocate for her students, assist them in making their lives richer and love her chosen profession.”
Much like Sydney Saul, senior Gordon Griffin said he is also choosing to pursue a career he is truly passionate about. He said he wishes to become an actor and will be attending the New School in New York City. Griffin said he is excited to pursue his dream in his favorite city on Earth.
“I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else and I’m ready to face any of the challenges that accompanies such a competitive field,” Griffin said. “I know it will all be worth it to become an actor.”
While being involved in theatre throughout high school, Griffin said he has learned that no problem is too much to overcome.
“I have been faced with countless challenges and rejections,” Griffin said. “None were enough to stop me from reaching my goals of becoming the best performer I can be.”
According to Griffin, he has worked endlessly throughout high school to get into a fantastic college with the best acting program he could ask for. He said what scares him most is the fear of failing, but the fear also motivates him.
“This fear [of failure] drives me and it’s why I have been fairly successful so far in my career,” Griffin said.
Griffin said theatre has changed his life in countless ways and his one goal in life is to continue to do what makes him happiest. He said he is beyond thrilled to see what the future has in store for him.
“Theatre has given me an outlet for all my feelings and frustrations,” Griffin said. “[Theatre’s] also helped me grow as a person and it has allowed me to make and become friends with some of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life.”
Similar to Griffin, Sydney Saul said the experience she has gained in high school will allow her to have a smoother transition into her future career in special education and adulthood.
“I will always remember the memories I have created through my teen years,” Sydney Saul said. “[The memories] have all contributed to my passion of pursuing a career in special education.”