Guest blog by Angela Lin
I only got to tutor MengYi for several sessions, but each time I was amazed by what she could accomplish. Many people with disabilities are often relegated in society by their limitations, told they are not good enough, they can’t make a contribution, and so they’re never given an opportunity.
Many times, these people start to believe it themselves, they start to lose hope. MengYi was not one of those people. Each session, she came prepared with her homework finished and questions ready to ask. When she didn’t understand the first time, she would always try again. The energy and passion she put into learning English was incredibly inspiring.
MengYi was persistent and dedicated to learn English – something that clearly matters a lot to her. She is someone with incredible potential to achieve big things, not just because of her work ethic and drive, but because of her strength.
Working with MengYi helped me gain a new perspective: Disability is a design. When person in a wheelchair can’t get from the first floor to the second floor, they are not disabled because they can’t walk; they’re disabled because the engineers didn’t build a wheelchair ramp. Someone’s inherent condition doesn’t have to become their limitation. MengYi certainly did not let her situation set herself back, in fact she let it drive herself forward – and I love that about her. I have immense hope for her, but more importantly, she has hope for herself. She has dreams and ambitions, and she’s willing to do what it takes to achieve them.
I learned much more from her than she probably learned from me. MengYi, thank you so much for the opportunity to work with you, I hope we can continue to do so in the future.