Read Ericson’s account of the exciting things that happened during their session.
On March 9, 2013, the founding members of SENIA Manila’s Youth Chapter had their first meeting at International School Manila. Ranging from 8th grade to 2nd year college students, the nine founding members quickly bonded after discovering that they all shared the experience of being students with special education needs.
During the morning sessions, each member shared what they hoped to achieve as a Youth Chapter, what was working and not working in terms of support for students with special needs in their schools, and their understanding of the term special education needs. Though their individual responses varied, they were able to identify a common theme as a group. This very important theme is that information about special education needs in their schools was either lacking, limited, or incorrect. As a group, they developed their first goal, which is “to promote self-advocacy and awareness about special education needs within our society, including teachers, students, and parents.” This is 100% aligned with SENIA’s mission!
After brainstorming ideas for how to accomplish their goal, they developed an action plan. Included in their action plan are to begin their networking through Facebook, meet as a complete group again before the end of the school year, and plan a presentation about special education needs during a school-wide assembly in their respective schools.
Their first meeting culminated in a presentation to the delegates of the SENIA Manila Conference. Not only did they share their goal and action plan, they spontaneously shared their personal experiences with their struggles in school and how much they appreciated that there were people in their lives, such as those who attended the conference, who were there to support them.
Excited, energized, and inspired by one another, SENIA Manila’s Youth Chapter hopes to grow in Metro Manila, as well as for other Youth Chapters to begin in other regions of the world.
Experience the incredible process our SENIA Youth Chapter went through by reviewing these photos.
Photo credits: Ericson Perez and Catherine Deen