Celebrate Differences

Celebrate Differences by Sharon Lea, CAA Professor

Just imagine a world where everyone is held up high towards the sun and given all the opportunities to be the best they can be. Just imagine a world where everyone is celebrated for who they are and given every advantage to live a rich, fulfilling life. Imagine a world where differences are celebrated with excitement and wonder. Everyday CAA gives this warmth of the sun to adult students with differing abilities, through a liberal arts education and exciting opportunities they might not have had in the past.

My first experience with CAA came when I walked into rehearsal at Pioneer High School for the production of Greasy Hairspray. CAA puts on yearly productions, giving students opportunities to perform in the community and in turn, gives the community opportunities to see our students work together as a team and thrive in the spotlight.

I had not worked with this population before and I must admit I wasn’t sure exactly what would be expected of me. As soon as I walked in the door, I knew I found a unique and special place. Adult students were on stage, of all abilities. Excitement was in the air. Bright yellow Greasy Hairspray tee shirts were being sorted by size for each student. Singing and dancing filled the space. It was not a place of apprehension, but a place filled with support and love.

It was a place where there were no limits and each student had a gift that simply needed sunshine and a little time. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced and I knew I wanted to help in whatever way possible. Now as a staff member, I am wholly committed to doing all I can to promote and support CAA, an amazing organization.

As I watch students blossom, become more confident, take risks and continually strive to learn about the world and themselves, I celebrate differences more than ever. I celebrate CAA with all my heart and I am excited to watch CAA touch more and more students, giving hope through higher-education.