I remember the first day of my educational journey, it began at Ridge Crest Elementary school where I would be challenged. I was placed in a Special Ed class for individuals with disabilities. I spent five years in the same class. My placement in this class was predicated upon me having a disability and an Individualized Educational plan (IEP). The IEP included specific goals that my parents set for me to accomplish throughout my educational career.
LaShane Nicole Overstreet was born to the parents of Ronald and Sharon Overstreet twenty-five years ago on October 30th, 1996. Little did her parents know her journey would begin with being diagnosed with Spina Bifida.
My parents were told by doctors I would not be successful in living a normal life on their terms. This is when my parents used their faith in God and began to believe that I would have a better life than what the doctors initially were telling them about my life. I would then have multiple surgeries as a new born throughout my life. These surgeries were due to having spina bifida.
My parents moved to a few different places during the first few years of my life. We lived in Las Vegas, but my parents were not happy with the medical teams out there. My parents were
blessed with the opportunity of meeting a woman who encouraged them to move to Moreno Valley for the Moreno Valley Unified School District (MVUSD), which would later help me succeed in my educational journey.
My educational career began at Ridge Crest Elementary School where I was placed in a Special ed class for five years. My five years of elementary education had many highs and some lows. The most memorable ones are marked by spending 5 years in a single class. This came with its advantages and disadvantages. As an advantage, I got to know everyone very well, and made some best friends that I am still in contact with.
On the other hand, there were disadvantages. The disadvantages included not being opened up to new opportunities until my final year in elementary school. As most of you already know, moving to a new classroom as a kid brings about the sense of accomplishment and graduation – it may not be significant to an adult, but that is what makes life interesting for the kid. A few of the highs were being in the same class with the same individuals for five years, being able to learn skills for daily living, and academic means. For example, we had festivities for the holidays each year along with cooking days. During the festivities for the holidays, I was able to create arts and crafts for Father’s, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas.
I would then graduate to High school at Valley View High School to continue my educational journey. This was where I attended school from 9th to 12th grade. I also had some advantages and disadvantages while attending here. One advantage was being able to attend the same school with friends I grew up with in elementary school and middle school years. This made the transition from middle school to a completely different territory easier than not. I was placed in a class for kids in the Resource Specialist Program (RSP). This program was provided for kids that had special needs (disabilities). While being in the program I was assigned to a case carrier who handled my classes and any accommodations I needed due to having an IEP. A few advantages I had while attending high school were being able to attend, Senior Week, Prom and Graduation. These events were three celebrations due to accomplishing 9th-12th grade. Senior Week consisted of a week of festivities for the graduating class of 2014. Prom was another big event for me in more than one way. I was able to attend my first ever prom with my best friend Derrick. “I remember feeling so excited to begin being independent and attend prom with my date and friends”. Graduation was the end to a four-year long journey through my educational career. This was a big milestone for me because as I stated before I have had advantages and disadvantages in the midst of my educational career. “I remember inviting a lot of my family members to attend the momentous occasion”.
Furthermore, my education continued to Community College after graduation. I continued to have advantages and disadvantages. One advantage was being able to receive services from Disabled Support Services (DSS). I was able to receive accommodations for courses, events and other services on campus. I was also blessed to receive four AA degrees when completing my time at Moreno Valley College in Fall of 2019. “I remember thinking Wow when I initially found out the news from my counselor at the time”. I felt a sense of excitement knowing that my three years of hard work, and trust in God led me to this huge accomplishment.
To be nearing graduation at California University State San Bernardino, I will say “ I am very excited to start my next journey in life as an adult and graduate”. I have big plans after graduating CSUSB, they include securing employment, getting a car and starting life outside of education. My epic moment in this season will be graduation day.
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