Many times I use the phrase, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you handle what happens to you, that’s going to make the difference.” Initially, the ball appeared not to have bounced Celeste Baker’s way, but that was just initially. She has a disease in her left leg called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy which causes her a considerable amount of pain. The way Celeste handled her challenge was such an encouragement to her classmates at Baldwin Jr./Sr. High School in Baldwin, Florida, that she was given the “I CAN” Award one school year. The next example helps explain why.
One day, Celeste called her mother to come to the school. Assuming she wanted to go home because she was in pain, Officer Keith M. Jowers, the School Resource Officer, in an effort to encourage her said, “Well, at least you get to leave school early.” Celeste immediately responded, “Oh, no, Officer Jowers, I just want her to bring me my crutches, so I can walk.” She refused to miss the rest of school that day.
Celeste really does have a “can-do” attitude. She played volleyball and was on the swim team. She even used swim competitions as therapy. Some of the things her teachers said about her were, “She’s a very creative and delightful student,” and “Celeste has been a delight to teach.” “Celeste is a dedicated and hardworking student that is a joy to have in my class.” Yes, in many ways she epitomizes the “I CAN” attitude. Certainly her approach to life is the best one.