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My Independence

Written by James Potthast

Can anyone really say they live independently? Most people today require some sort of assistance or support from their community. From a neighbor helping with yard work, to friends grabbing lunch together, our community leans on each other to live productively. Other supports include your mail carrier, your child's school, your church, and at times even your local authorities. My name is James Potthast, and I am striving for independence.


Recently, I have started to gain independence through the use of a letter board. In the span of four years, the ability to communicate has been made readily available to me. I now have tools to be independent, and the use of the letter board has already opened doors for me that can take me far in life. To younger students, having access to this tool means they are able to initiate conversations. To me, it means I can learn at a level that will positively impact my future. On this specific assignment, I have been asked to write about myself, something that is easy for me to do. Leading my thoughts into a written format has been the most meaningful way for me to communicate. The reason I value my communication so much is because it is my sole avenue to independence.

Right now, all of my goals revolve around independence. Something I am passionate about is education. At this time I am taking classes at Northern Virginia Community College. My goal is to transfer to Notre Dame and graduate. Although not at all an easy school to get into, it is still my dream to go there. Now I need to focus on my tasks at hand. That includes my classes, my leadership, my training, my job, and my behavior.

Now behind me lie the days of depending on others to reach my goals. All of life's biggest years are in front of me. Success almost always equates to independence. People tend to measure others' success based on their ability to lead independent lives. Although I will need the help and guidance of my teachers, employers, and family, now leading the way is me.

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