“By Paige Delaney Kowalski, with help from Mom:
I am Paige and I am 22-years old. I live with my sister and my mom and my cat. I already graduated from Post Secondary. I go to a Day Program at Mission College and I take music, dance, and cooking classes at College of the Adaptive Arts. Before COVID-19, I worked at the Holiday Inn doing laundry and helping in the Breakfast Room. I like to dance and sing and hike with my mom and help my mom with cooking and cleaning. I like to talk about movies and actors and singers. I Google my favorite stars so I can learn more about them. I love being a part of Young Life Capernaum and I want to be a leader so I can help the younger kids. I love being a greeter at church and helping the little kids in the Sunday School. I play Little League Baseball and I am a big hitter. When I grow up, I want to be on American Idol and Dancing With The Stars. I love my life and I am happy I have Special Needs because I have a special love.”
“When Paige was born, the doctors and the books and the experts gave me lists of things Paige would never learn to do. It felt like I had been kicked in the gut. I felt nothing by dread for her future. Thankfully that feeling of dread got kicked to the curb when I started meeting with teachers and therapists and I realized I was the expert in my own daughter’s capabilities.
Paige has an amazing life. She is compassionate and caring. She loves helping others. She is resourceful and smart. When she was little, she brilliantly used her toys as tools to open locks and latches and escape the house. She is creative. She choreographs dances to her favorite songs. She is kind and loving. She encourages her friends and always has something uplifting to say about them or to them. She has strong opinions and is not afraid to say how she feels. She experiences a full range of emotions and expresses them all. She is constantly learning new things. She is a sponge for information and new skills. COVID-19 opened up a new discipline of remote learning. While she prefers to meet in person, she has learned new skills in her classes and has mastered using email!
Last Summer, Paige enrolled in College of the Adaptive Arts. She is taking some amazing courses! When she’s not baking up a storm in her Joy of Baking class, she is learning about the importance of warming up and breath control and posture in Concert Choir. She is learning so much about musical theater and watching classic musicals in her Musical Theater Appreciation Class. She is brand new to cheerleading and she is already choreographing her own routines in Cheer Squad. She is learning about history and culture while perfecting dance moves in Contemporary and Cultural Dance. And she is expressing her joy and love of musical theater in Joy of Broadway Dance.
Just like Paige, I LOVE her life. And I am happy she has special needs and I want to soak up every bit of her special love.”