Not all superheroes wear capes. Emily Barry is the embodiment of a homegrown hero. Her super power? Loving kids and people with special needs. She seeks opportunities to serve, and even chose a profession that further exposes her heart for others.
Emily is very active in the G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education And Training) Summer Camps. This is a special camp sponsored by the Tualatin Police Department. G.R.E.A.T. Camp is for incoming 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. Some weeks are only 6th graders and then weeks where there are 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. Camp is based at Hazelbrook Middle School but there are bi-weekly field trips. The camp features different guest speakers to come in and speak to the kids about different things that they will experience, difficulties they may face and tools to help them succeed in middle school. This helps build confidence in students coming of age. Students leave camp encouraged and inspired. They also have a lot of fun and play games led by amazing volunteers like Emily. Emily herself has been involved in this camp for over a decade; as a camper, then volunteer and now, as a leader.
Emily is also involved in a very special organization – the Down Syndrome Network of Oregon (dnso.org). This is a membership based organization that helps provide advocacy, inclusiveness, equality and respect for life, compassion, comfort, hope and faith. They offer many activities and events for families, friends, and individuals with Down syndrome and all intellectual disabilities. Summer camps and picnics, holiday parties, moms and dad’s events are just a few of the offerings this organization provides for networking and support. This September, Emily participated in the Buddy Walk – a fundraising effort sponsored by Providence Health and Services. It’s a testament to Emily’s giving heart.
Emily is a graduate of Pacific University who went on to become a Middle School teacher. Her school is so lucky to have this Tualatin superhero!
Know someone up to something good in your neighborhood? Think they deserve recognition for their good deeds? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to interview you and your hero for my next article.