Kathryn Kaimana is an Interdisciplinary Studies major with a concentration in Special Education at Texas A&M University from Burleson, Texas.
When I was looking at colleges, I was having a really hard time. All the schools that interested me were either too far away or an Ivy League that I knew I just didn’t have the grades for. After talking to one of my friends about how discouraged I was becoming, they encouraged me to apply to Texas A&M. I had never though about A&M, especially because everyone in my family is a TU fan. I decided to apply and the top 10% rule granted me automatic acceptance. After I was accepted, I came down to Aggieland for a tour, and I fell in love. The traditions and family atmosphere made me feel at home and like I would be safe here once my parents left on move in day. I could picture myself as an Aggie and I never had that feeling at any other school.
Coming into college, I was a biomedical sciences major and I had my heart set on being a doctor. As I sat in my STEM classes, I realized that I no longer had the passion about being a doctor that I had growing up. I did a lot of thinking and talking with my family over Christmas break my freshman year and I was ultimately terrified to tell them that I didn’t want to pursue a medical degree anymore because I didn’t want to be seen as a failure, especially since I am a first-gen student. Eventually, I realized that I have a passion for teaching, and I always have. I chose special education specifically because my younger sister has learning disability and I came to the conclusion that I want to be the teacher that could make a difference in her life. There are so many students with disabilities that deserve so much from their teachers and may not receive that. So ultimately, I want to be someone who makes a change in the special education system in Texas and hopefully impact as many students and families as I can.
I am currently in Dr.Montague’s EPFB210 class which is all about families and how important they are to a student’s education. Recently, Jeannie Mansill and Ella McGruder came to speak about Project Unity in one of our classes. They explained that Project Unity’s overall goal is to prevent child abuse and they do this by providing services that can prevent at-risk behaviors and situations that can escalate to abuse. Project Unity is currently trying to eliminate poverty in Bryan by streamlining all government services to one application for those in need. Overall, they have amazing ideas that can truly save lives. After hearing this, I knew I had to do something. Jeannie and Ella mentioned that they are lacking funds and would love if an organization could adopt them as their philanthropy and that they are in deep need of diapers, formula, and toiletries. I knew that it would be hard to find an organization that didn’t already have a set philanthropy, so I decided to talk to Dr.Montague about setting up a diaper/toiletries drive.
The best way to help is by donating! We are accepting diapers (any size), formula, and any toiletries. I am willing to meet on campus to pick up or donations or arrange a pick up elsewhere through email. Also, Dr.Montague is collecting items in her office as well as during her classes!
After graduation, I hope to begin teaching in a high school life skills classroom where I can also help with transition plans. While teaching, I want to get my masters in special education so I can become a diagnostician eventually. After teaching for a few years, I would love to get my PhD and go on to make legislative strides to help develop laws that continue to help and protect those with disabilities.
One way to help Project Unity is by donating online! Ms. Kaimana, her class, and instructor, Dr. Montague, will be accepting diapers (any size), formula, and any toiletries. Ms. Kaimana is willing to meet on campus to pick up your donations or arrange a pick up elsewhere through email. Dr. Montague will also be collecting items in her office as well as during her classes. The items will be delivered November 25, 2019.