There are many people living with disabilities

There are many people living with disabilities, they often feel left out and unwanted. My personal experience working with The Penguin Project taught me about patience, never giving up, and never quitting, even in a moment of hesitation.

Over the summer I was involved in a theatre production of Aladdin where I worked alongside kids with disabilities in an organization called The Penguin Project. The musical theatre production casts youth ages ten to twenty one, and each kid is paired on-stage with a mentor of similar age. On the last night of the performance I was able to sit in the audience and watch the play from start to finish. That night I saw something I thought I would never see, a love of acting and fun most people do not get to see when looking at a person with a disability. The time I had sitting in the audience watching some of the greatest people I have ever met was a bittersweet moment of overwhelming joy and sadness. With it being the last night I did not know how to feel, the amount of respect I have for families with a child or loved one is a disability has grown exponentially. These kids go through so much and do not get enough love or attention in return for all the hard times they go through.

My involvement in this production helped me grow in ways I did not know I needed: I learned to keep acting, even in the hardest of times; I also learned how rewarding patience can be. I learned these lessons through the rehearsals with the feeling of frustration while running and remembering lines. The last night, after the show, the cast and production team all had dinner where we all came together sharing stories of our time together. Every kid and mentor walked away from this experience with a new found love and appreciation for the theatre. When looking back at how challenging it was, there was a multitude of difficulties involved in the production, but in the end, I learned a great deal of life skills, and I was able to provide inspiration to the kids about performing live. Being involved in such an amazing show full of wonderful people was a time in my life I will remember forever.