Amador Valley High School Raises Awareness
Supporting the Wheelchair Foundation and fundraising more than $1,300
By Nandhana Sathish / Amador Student SEED Journalist
The gift of mobility is one that can change a person’s life forever as it gives an individual freedom and the ability to participate in many activities. This is the goal of the Wheelchair Foundation: to give the gift of mobility to all in the world, so everyone can enjoy independence.
SEED students organized Abilities Awareness Week at Amador, which took place between Monday, March 27th and Friday, March 31st. The purpose of this week was to raise awareness of the diverse abilities at Amador and in other places around the world. Nicole Zhang (11), Nandhana Sathish (11), and Eve Sumpster (11) coordinated a Wheelchair Foundation fundraiser and wheelchair activities on campus as part of Abilities Awareness Week. The “Use a Wheelchair for a School Day” program allowed 23 students and 3 staff members to use wheelchairs from the Wheelchair Foundation during this week and experience what it is like to depend on one for mobility. Initially, students and teachers felt that it was fun experience. However, as the day progressed, participants learned that using a wheelchair was a strenuous task, and they constantly faced new challenges to get things done. Participants began thinking about other situations in daily life, such as using a car and shopping for groceries, and pondered how using a wheelchair would alter those experiences. At the end of the day, participants were enlightened by their experience and helped spread awareness of the cause.
“From this experience I realized that I take so many things for granted. Even though it was only one day, I struggled to use the wheelchair. When we see a person with a wheelchair, we don’t think much of it and just shake it off…. Also, I realized that… a lot of people are willing to help. For example, random people would come up to me and push my wheelchair when they saw me struggling,” said Simran Regmi, a junior at Amador Valley High School.
The fundraising component involved a school-wide fundraiser by putting donation canisters in every classroom and encouraging students and staff to support the fundraising efforts. Additionally, some clubs that participated in the Donversity Club Festival on March 23rd donated a portion of or all of their proceeds to the Wheelchair Foundation. In total, Amador Valley High School fundraised $1,375.72 for the Wheelchair Foundation.
Furthermore, the SEED students coordinating Abilities Awareness Week organized a wheelchair basketball game in the quad in front of the library on Thursday, March 30th. They also invited Kathy Gailey, Direction of Community Outreach at the Wheelchair Foundation, to be a guest speaker at Amador. On Friday, March 31st, Gailey presented about the Wheelchair Foundation to several classes in the Multipurpose Room during 4th, 5th, and 6th period.
Abilities Awareness Week reminded all students that mobility and transportation are not things to take for granted, and we all have different abilities to embrace.