Written by mom on behalf of LaSalle:
I was born with many challenges and am called "special needs" by most. When I came to the school, I was unsure how I was going to participate in the 6th grade English class, but I wanted to. We first started reading a story about Malala. Initially, Ms. Mensah worked with the curriculum Dean to give me an easier version of the project sheet to complete with a simple version of the book so that I could be in the classroom, follow along, and have a product to turn in. Over time, I noticed the other kids reading a thicker book. I wanted to read the real book too. Ms. Mensah let me borrow a real book to take home to read with my parents. As I started to read the book, I shouted out, "I am Malala" because we had so many similarities.She wears a Cochlear Implant; I wear a Baha by Cochlear. She likes ice cream; I like ice cream. She plays with her dad; I play with my dad. I grew more excited to learn and Ms. Mensah did not stop me. Next, we had an assignment where we made a presentation about an exciting event in our lives. I made a presentation about a golf tournament I won with the Special Olympics. I did not know we were going to talk in front of the whole class. I have a severe speech impediment. Ms. Mensah wrote my name on the board to present. She was nice and let me go last so that I could watch other students and learn what to do. I presented. I had confidence because Ms. Mensah believed in me. When I was done, Ms. Mensah said, "Nice Job, now that is the way you command a room!" Ms. Mensah gave me a high score. Ever since, I have not been afraid to present in front of a class, even though I do not sound as good as the other kids.
Ms. Mensah pushes me to be my best self. She deserves to be honored.