Mallory Comerford, 11

“The most important decision I’ve ever made would have to be [when I] befriended a girl named Yuka in my kindergarten class. Yuka is mute (meaning she can’t speak), and for a kindergartner that is so hard. Everyone in my class was nice to Yuka, but no one really tried to be her friend, no one other than me. Yuka became one of my best friends; she would come over to my house, and we would play on my play set. Sadly, I had to move after kindergarten due to my dad’s job; yet, this didn’t stop our friendship, we would write letters to each other with pictures, and when I would come back to Ohio to visit, I sometimes got the treat to visit Yuka as well!

“When I came back to Sycamore, Yuka had moved away, but she has and always will hold a special place in my heart! I believe it is my friendship with Yuka that inspired me to befriend other students with special needs, such as my current best friend Eli! These bonds have been the guiding light to what I want to do with my future, to become a special education teacher!”