This I Believe: Opportunities for Anyone and Everyone

Kaitlyn Ruth Main

Personal Statement
My name is Kaitlyn Main and I wrote this essay in my English 101 class with Professor Schimke. I’m going to school for funeral services.

I believe in acceptance and equality.

More specifically, I am talking about the acceptance and equality for those in the disabled community. However,  in this essay I’m not going to call them disabilities; I am going to call them gifts.

When I was seven years old my baby cousin, Nikki, was born. She was born with a rare defect in the spine called Spina Bifida. This is basically where a baby’s spine is not fully developed when it is born. In Nikki, specifically, it caused paralysis from the waist down and several other complications, resulting in her development being delayed. At the young age that I was, her medical information didn’t really make sense to me; so she was just Nikki in my eyes.

Even after growing up with her and seeing the obstacles that she faced and understanding her medical background, I still just saw my happy-go-lucky cousin Nikki. But, growing up with her I also noticed that other people did take notice of her “gift”, and not always in a positive way. This frustrated me and I saw the stigma connected to people with disabilities. This didn’t stop her though. She went on to dance on a dance team, swim for the special olympics, and join a softball team. On top of all that, she inspired so many people, me included, to just keep pushing through life no matter what life threw.

Shortly after her death, I became a job coach for adults with “gifts” that might make it harder to find or be successful with a job. Not very many companies want to take on an employee with gifts, unfortunately, whether it’s corporate greed, prejudice, or being too afraid. However, a job, making an income, being a part of society, is so important to anyone in life. Why would it be any different for someone with a gift?

I believe in opportunities and acceptance. Equality is a never ending battle in this world, but I’m here to be an ally for the disabled community.


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The Lion's Pride, Vol. 14 Copyright © 2021 by Kaitlyn Ruth Main is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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