Camelback Jack announced our next Fulton Homes Be KOOL Stay In School qualifier. Congratulations to Ru’Neisha Gay!
We would like to nominate Ru’neisha Gay as a Be KOOL, Stay in School recipient. She is an 8th grade student at Mountain View Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona.
A little person with a big heart, Ru’Neisha Gay touched my heart 9 years ago as a student in my special needs kindergarten class. Ru’Neisha was born with Achondroplasia, a growth defect that causes very short stature known as dwarfism. Ru’Neisha will be around 4 foot tall and will continue to experience health problems as a result of dwarfism. Headaches and fatigue are part of life for Ru’Neisha.
Born in a family of normal sized parents and siblings, Ru’Neisha has never let her small stature affect her big dreams in life. She is an example of courage and determination in the face of challenges she has faced.
At the age of 3 she attended special needs preschool, an early intervention program that assisted with her developmental delays. She continued her education in specialized classrooms through 6th grade. During 6th grade, Ru’Neisha was home schooled most of the year due to migraine headaches which resulted in the placement of a shunt to relieve pressure on her brain. Staying in school is important to Ru’Neisha in spite of her many surgeries and daily challenges. Her spirit stays bright and she is focused on her school work.
Ru’Neisha tested out of special education as a 7th grader and she proudly entered junior high school classes. A new challenge faced Ru’Neisha, she was now responsible for transitioning from class to class on a very large campus in a very short period of time. With Ru’Neisha’s eager approval, her physical therapist ordered an electric scooter for Ru’Neisha to drive on campus. A very responsible and focused student, Ru’Neisha learned how to safely operate the scooter, open doors and use an elevator as well as store her scooter each day on campus. She feels independent and just like one of the other students in transit.
But it is her courage that most defines this young woman. Ru’Neisha has experienced hurtful comments directed at her because of her short stature. She wrote a letter to Miss Nellie, Mountain View’s social worker and suggested starting a Bully Prevention Club at school to bring awareness to an issue that other students experience too. Ru’ Neisha and club members recently designed “Bully Prevention” posters with slogans that promote kindness and respect among the students at school. Her participation in the club has been a positive outlet for her and an example for others. Ru’Neisha is a considerate and loyal friend who listens and engages in conversation with true interest and encouragement.
Ru’Neisha has completed her 1st quarter as an eighth grader and is proud to be on the Mountain View Honor Roll! In the summer of 2011, she will be a Junior Volunteer at St. Josephs Hospital. “I want to encourage sick children to get out of bed and make them feel happy and smile”. Ru’Neisha has a dream of going to college and becoming a doctor.
If you know of a child that is deserving of being out NEXT Fulton Homes Be KOOL Stay In School qualifier, click HERE.