More Alike Than Different

Lynn Student Raises Awareness for PALS

Avery Hibbs, a sophomore, focuses on volunteering with and bringing awareness to people with disabilities with inspiration from her older sister with down syndrome.

Hibbs has volunteered for five years at a non-profit organization called ‘PALS’. This organization works with  children with down syndrome, creates a more inclusive environment and shows that kids with disabilities are equal to those without. Hibbs plans on participating for many more years to come.

“I volunteer at ‘PALS’ because this holds a very special place in my heart,” said Hibbs.  “It fills me with joy to see how excited the kids at camp get when we do activities with them and are around them.  It is truly warming to my heart, and I look forward to participating each summer.”

Hibbs’ older sister Alana is a huge role model in her life.  Alana works at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and loves working with people.  Everyone there treats her with the utmost respect and kindness, and Alana looks forward to going to work everyday for that reason. 

“Alana is a big part of my life and she inspires me to be a better person,” said Hibbs.  “She never fails to amaze me each day.”

People with disabilities have made great strides towards acceptane, but some ableist rhetoric and actions still exist. Awareness is still being brought to the fact that some people don’t treat others with disabilities with kindness, and that is what Hibbs focuses on.

“My older sister has Down syndrome and is just as capable of doing things that people without disabilities can do,” said Hibbs.  “It upsets me that people can’t see that and forget that [she is] human, just like people without disabilities.”

Hibbs has created a positive outlook on life by participating in ‘PALS.’  Having a sister with down syndrome has helped her to realize that it is important to incorporate kindness towards others in her everyday routine.  Keep in mind that every person is facing a battle that no one knows about, so always be polite and kind.

For more information on ‘PALS,’ please visit their website at https://www.palsprograms.org. 

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