Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

A Second Mom

on May 12, 2011

I’ve been blessed to have many wonderful, supportive people in my life. Parents, my sister, grandparents, friends and teachers have all helped and supported me throughout my life. While I could sing the praises of any of these individuals, there is one person that has particularly inspired me. A person that taught through actions rather than words and a person who embodied the spirit of hard-work, determination and kindness. This person is Mrs. Pearson, aka, “Mom.”

Mrs. Pearson is a paraprofessional in the Learning Support classroom at my old high school. She works with students with a range of developmental disabilities, helping them to defy the expectations others have of them. Through her work in the Learning Support program, she helps students to live independently and earn a living for themselves.

As if this wasn’t laudable enough, Mrs. Pearson also is the co-advisor and co-producer of the school’s Thespians and took the lead in ensuring each production had the most beautiful costumes you would ever see in a high school production. For Mrs. Pearson, it wasn’t enough that each actor was clothed in a reasonable facsimile of the clothing of the time period. She researched the time period and designed all the costumes with an exquisite level of detail. She also took care to teach would-be costumers in the design and construction of costumes and allowed them to take as much responsibility as they could handle.

In addition to these duties, Mrs. Pearson also was the advisor of the school’s KEY Club, a volunteer community service program for high school students. While I participated in the Thespian productions too, it was through KEY Club that I had most of my interactions with Mrs. Pearson. I can’t even begin to describe what Mrs. Pearson did for this club and the members of it. She taught us how to be leaders, how to organize and follow-through on projects and how to manage others. She also “adopted” many of us, playing the role of surrogate mother, big sister, confidante – whatever we needed. We always knew that if something was wrong and if we needed help or someone to talk to, we could go to Mrs. Pearson’s room and she would make time for us and help us in whatever way she could.

Finally, outside of school, Mrs. Pearson was a longtime friend of the Easter Seals, leading programs and outings for the kids. From bowling trips to the annual summer camping trip, Mrs. Pearson ensured that each child was able to participate and have fun in the programs especially designed for them.

Between all of these programs and activities, it was not unusual to pass by the school late at night and see the light on in Mrs. Pearson’s room, long after all the others in the school had been shuttered. From her untiring dedication, Mrs. Pearson taught me about hard work and doing a project right, without cutting corners. She also routinely demonstrated grace under pressure and certainly was a part of the inspiration for me going into the nonprofit sector. Mrs. Pearson had a profound impact on my life and I was absolutely ecstatic when she came to my wedding.

It’s hard to summarize someone so amazing in just a few words and I feel this brief post hardly does justice to Mrs. Pearson. But when asked to think about someone who continually inspires me and has had a significant impact on my life, it is, without question, Mrs. Pearson.

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2 responses to “A Second Mom

  1. Samantha says:

    Wow! What a great profile of an amazing woman!

  2. […] a favorite Aunt who was choreographing the show and the theatre co-advisor (who I wrote about here) helped me more than I realized at the […]

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