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SOAR Scholarship: An Advocate For Those With Special Needs

She’s making an impact – online and in person – to change the way we see people with special needs. “It’s been something that I...

She's making an impact - online and in person - to change the way we see people with special needs.

"It's been something that I've been doing ever since I was little and so I wanted to have some way where I could get other people to get out there and volunteer so that other people knew what was up in the community," said Sarah Bubbers.

Sarah is the founder of the Facebook Page - Special Deeds for Special Needs. It's based on her brother, Ryan, who's severely disabled.

"The information that I share about me and my brother is actually more popular than some of the times when I post about an event coming up," said Sarah.

Every day, she posts information to educate the public, promote upcoming volunteer opportunities, and share inspirational stories. It's all information helping people see special needs differently... especially for this 18-year-old.

"I personally didn't even think I necessarily had a disability, because with Ryan he's so disabled that that's my view of a disability and so it was hard for me to accept that I need help," she explained.

Sarah has spent her years at Pleasant Valley High School with a vision impairment that's gotten worse and worse.

"I could no longer see the PowerPoint sitting in the front row of the classroom," she said. "It could stay how it is and I could continue living like this or it could potentially go worse and that's the scary part is trying to plan for the future and trying to figure out what I can do with going legally blind."

Sarah's story is inspiring WQAD to award her with a $1,000 S.O.A.R. Scholarship, sponsored by The Sedona Group. S.O.A.R. stands for Strength, Opportunities, Achievement, Resolve. Five area high school seniors are awarded the scholarship every year.

"It's amazing," she said. "Yeah, I would like to win one on great grades or I'd like to win the PV one, but to win something that's really meaningful to me and to the community - that meant more to me than any of the other ones could have."

What means even more is Sarah and Ryan graduated together on May 24th, 2015. In Fall 2015, Sarah will attend the University of Missouri and plans to double major in Hospitality Management and Communications.

"I've always been a people's person," said Sarah. "I really like planning events. I really like making a group of people laugh. I like to make them have fun and enjoy themselves."

She wants to work on a cruise ship and plans to keep the Facebook Page going as she "soars" towards that dream.