Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Artisans Reflection: Jackie Santin

Hi, my name is Jackie Santin and I am a Seton from Gonzaga University. I have been working with Artisans this year and I am the mentor of an incredible lady by the name of Tara. Let me tell you a little something about Tara. This women is in her 30s and while she suffers from Down syndrome she is one of the happiest people I have ever met in my life. You will more than occasionally hear her singing Let it Go from Frozen and do not even get her started on how much she loves Queen Elsa.

I came into this service organization with the hopes of teaching others and helping them grow, but I have not been the teacher throughout this process, she has. Tara has taught me how to see others for the beautiful people that they are, even myself. One day Tara was singing Let it Go as usual, and my friend Morgan said, “Hey Jackie, you and Tara should sing together.” I would have loved to sing with Tara, but usually she does not enjoy having others sing with her as much as she loves singing by herself, so I replied “Oh no that’s okay, Tara has a much more beautiful voice than I do so I would not want to compete with her.” Almost instantly Tara turned at me and said, “Never say that. Everyone can be good if they just believe in themselves.” I had never been at a loss for words until that moment. Tara taught me something that day. Even though I had said what I said to make her feel better about herself, I learned that I do not have to put myself down in order to do that. Tara was right, and I went from being the mentor to being the mentee.

Tara has taught me more in this last year than all of my college classes combined, which makes me question why I am paying to go to class, when Tara is teaching me for free. I am so grateful that God has placed Tara in my life. She is so sassy and full of energy and every time I am with her she reminds me of how good life is. She makes me thankful for the life I live and for the fact that she has been a part of it. I am sad to think that one day I will not be hanging out with her for two hours every week, because it is the highlight of my week. However, even though I will not see her all the time she will forever have a spot in my heart.

-Jackie Santin
Seton of Gonzaga

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