Hannah Bohm - Indiana Interview by Michelle Sicard Nomination and Photography by Laura Arick Photography Featured in Issue 16 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: What inspires me most about Hannah is her passion for Best Buddies! I love following her Instagram page and seeing all her pictures with Best Buddies students at their events. Her genuine enthusiasm and love for this program and it's students truly inspires me! She plans to pursue a career as a special education teacher. Hannah has been part of my Class of 2019 Senior Model Team and it has been such a pleasure getting to know her during this past year.
How did you become interested in the Best Buddies program and helping children with special needs? From the time I was in junior high I was always drawn to interacting with peers with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities. I became interested because I was a peer tutor (a class offered in my district to work with peers with IDD during school). I would always look forward to going to class to learn new things and make new friends. I became interested in Best Buddies because of their mission statement to ensure everyone with or without disabilities has the opportunity to have a lifelong friendship. Joining Best Buddies, a non-profit organization to create one-on-one friendships, has changed my life in a positive way and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Is there a specific experience or volunteer opportunity involving those with special needs that sparked your call to become a special education teacher in the future? Through peer tutoring and Best Buddies, I began to see just how deep my connection grew to these wonderful peers actually was. I was honored to be offered the opportunity to go to the Best Buddies Leadership Conference in Bloomington, IN. in summer 2018, where people from many countries go to learn how to make the world a more inclusive place. I knew that was what I wanted to do after I went because it in inspired me to hear the different stories people had shared. I am the Friendship Walk Captain for my school’s chapter and am currently fundraising for the Annual Best Buddies Friendship Walk. It is personally so satisfying and heartwarming to see the motivation and determination in peer students. These relationships are always a learning experience for us all and that is why I plan to study Special Education in the fall.
What kind of events does the Best Buddies program have for the children involved? Each month we have events ranging from several things to do. For example, we go out to eat, go bowling, go to paint, etc. My favorite event that is held each year is Best Buddies Prom. It is awesome to see everyone dressed up and dancing!
Tell us a little bit about your experience as a student of the Class of 2019 Senior Model Team. Is it a program at your school? Being a part of the Class of 2019 Senior Model Team was one of the best experiences ever. People that were on the Model Team had the opportunity to do exclusive shoots and work with Laura Arick behind the scenes. Her program is not affiliated with my school. I heard about it through a friend who worked with her from the previous year and suggested I apply.
Besides modeling and special education, are there any other fields or hobbies that you take part/interest in? I also am involved in Unified Basketball and Unified Track, which are varsity sports that give peers with IDD the opportunity to compete while having fun.
As you seem to be a very busy, inspiring teen, how do you manage your time between school, extra-curricular programs such as Best Buddies, and friends? To manage my time between school, Best Buddies, and friends I always write down what I have to do that week and make a checklist. I try to take it one day at a time, so I am not overwhelmed.
Hannah was featured in Issue 16 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!