Seigla gets Presidential recognition

Georgetown Senior Kassidy Seigla was honored by outgoing President Barack Obama at the end of 2016.
Seigla received a President’s Volunteer Service Award for her work with mentally challenged students at Georgetown Elementary School.
“…there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit than giving our all to a difficult task.  Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise,” a letter from President Obama reads in part.
Her award certificate reads “In recognition and appreciation for (her) commitment to strengthen our nation and communities through volunteer service.”
Seigla said that her interest in helping students with bigger challenges began early.
“I was always drawn to help them and doing what I can to help them succeed.  It made me feel really good about myself,” she said.
“I first started volunteering my time was way back in fifth grade.  I had an interest in working with mentally challenged kids because I went to school with two of them from kindergarten through eighth grade at Eastern before I moved to Georgetown.”
Once she hit her senior year at Georgetown, Seigla began participating in the Learn and Serve program at the school.
“They let you go out into the workforce and job shadow or just volunteer your time.  I go to the elementary from 12:35 to 2:30 or later every single day,” Seigla said.
She added that she gets her reward for going when she first walks into the room.
“They have all learned my name.  Miss Kass.  It takes a while for them to remember a new face.  So when I walk in there, they all say ‘Hi Miss Kass!’ so it’s something I look forward to.  I really enjoy seeing them accomplish things that every other kid in their grades can do.  It’s really rewarding to watch.”
Seigla said that the experience has also taught her that working with mentally handicapped children can be challenging at times.
“You don’t really see what those teachers go through and what they have to deal with until you are in there consistently. They inspire me every single day.  I can only hope to be half the women they are, working in a room like that.”
Seigla said that her volunteer experience has set her on a path to work with mentally handicapped students for the rest of her life.  She plans to major in Education at Shawnee State when she starts there later this year.
“I hope to take it further than just being a teacher.  A lot of people are not educated about these kids.  They just look at the outside.  I think it’s important to realize that these children are amazing with what they can do,” Seigla said.
Kassidy’s father Gar Seigla said that he and his wife Stacy are very proud of their daughter.
“It’s an honor to hear her talk from that perspective.  I don’t think she gives herself enough credit.  This is a kid that has grown up with mentally handicapped kids and has found a niche that she believes in and loves,” Gar Seigla said.
“She doesn’t talk about the lesson plans that she puts together or the time she takes to take kids on field trips or the research she does on the back end.  She spends a lot of time at home outside the classroom putting stuff together on her own.”
Kassidy said that she encourages anyone with an interest to look into volunteering opportunities of their own.
“If you put just a little bit of time in, you will fall in love with the kids and with what you are doing,” she said.
“To see them make these achievements and their successes while you are helping them, if feels great that you are able to have a part in their success.  And it’s something the kids will never forget either.”