Laura's advice to those interested in Special Education is to first and foremost love the kids
Laura Ong has always wanted to send her children to BYU, but she never imagined that she would be a Counseling Psychology Special Education student before her children were even old enough to go to college.
After the death of her husband six and a half years ago, Laura decided to go back to school for the career she had fallen in love with- teaching. Laura was an accountant for 10 years and then a stay at home mother for an additional 10 years. “I realized my love for teaching after many years of serving in Primary and teaching early morning seminary,” Laura said. “I decided on teaching and have never regretted it.”
Laura and her children moved to the United States from Malaysia in 2009. Laura attended LDS Business College, where she earned her Associates in Integrated Studies. She has always planned to transfer to BYU and major in teaching, but she had never planned on teaching in Special Education.
During her time at LDS Business College, Laura volunteered in a reading program at an elementary school. The students she worked with were at-risk and had special needs. “It was then that I realized I had the ability to make a difference in the lives of kids with special needs,” Laura said. “Numerous other experiences while I was volunteering in other special education classrooms went on to affirm my decision to major in special education.”
Laura was admitted to the Special Education program, and has recently completed her summer practicum. “I came to realize that the thing I love most about special education is my interaction with the students,” Laura said. “As I rejoiced in the success of some, I learned to empathize with the struggle of others. I feel most blessed to have had such an incredible experience this summer.” Laura will begin her student teaching this fall.
Outside of her schoolwork and time at BYU, Laura is a mother. She likes to read, travel, and spend time in the outdoors.
Her advice to those interested in Special Education is to first and foremost love the kids. “We need to be able to look past the disability and see these kids as valiant children of God,” Laura said. “I would also add an advice from President Hinckley that is just as applicable– to forget ourselves and go to work.”
July 31, 2012