Chelsea Gering - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eastmont High School - Para Educator
1. Tell me a little about you.
I grew up in Rock Island, graduating from Eastmont High School in 2016. While attending Eastmont High School’s Alternative Program, I participated in a Mentoring Program working in classrooms, aiding teachers and students. I was able to complete high school six months early. Upon graduating high school, I took my para educator test, passed and applied for a position at Eastmont High School, where I currently work in the Life Skills room as a para educator. More recently, I was legally adopted by Megan Gering, who is also the teacher of the classroom where I work. I am working on getting my Bachelor of Arts in Special Education and Elementary Education to become a Special Education teacher.
2. What is the most poignant moment or time in your life where you showed resilience?
Over a year ago, I started having seizures both at home and at work. I had an episode at work that was so severe, I was life-flighted to Harborview. I was diagnosed with PNES seizures, a diagnosis that’s hard for a lot of people to understand. I do not take medication because there isn’t any available for the type of seizures I have. I currently work with several specialists.
3. How did that moment shape your life?
It’s been over a year since my seizures started and I deal with my disorder every day. To say it’s been a long road is an understatement. My episodes used to be so bad that I would have several a week and I was lucky if I didn’t have more than one a day. I would be lying if I said this road is easy. Everyday is a fight. I’m grateful for the support from my family, for the progress I've made and the direction my life is headed. I am now 10 months seizure free!
4. What tips do you have for those in need of hope?
-Find your support system
-Communicate how you feel
-Be your own hero
-Trust God’s plan