Self-Realization Through Community

May 09, 2024

Trey Dulaney is a sophomore at the Post Oak School. He has been working with special needs individuals to create a community, and he also volunteers in places that give jobs to people with intellectual disabilities. While also spreading the gospel to the community, he is a part of the SLA, the Servant Leadership Academy, which helps create organizations within the church for people with disabilities, and the YBL, Youth Becoming Leaders, an organization that focuses on building young leaders in communities. As my classmate, I found the extent of the wisdom and kindness he shared regarding his service amazing. Trey’s experience shows how a simple act of kindness over a couple of hours a week can change a person for the better.

When interviewing him, I asked how he started working with the special needs community, and he answered, “I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. My goal is to give back and help by speaking not with words but with actions.”

He remarks later about the hardships he encounters in his work, “Sometimes you or the students can have an off day, where you need to overcome weariness or frustration. Patience is the hardest part. Learning to give people the time that they need, not the time that they think.”

When asked about advice he would give to someone interested in a service similar to his, he says, “Because I mainly work with students with special needs, you should realize that each person is unique and precious, and that so often they are put down, unaccepted, and called useless. What we are called to do is to help make sure that everyone has the opportunity and resources to achieve their dreams that everyone said were impossible.”

What captivated me most from the interview was the reason for his passion for the work. One of the bigger takeaways that exemplified this passion was when he said, “When you enter these things, you often think ‘I’m so good that I’m doing these things for [these people]’, but in actuality, these people have changed me as a person. In the end, you come out a better person, learning optimism, compassion, unconditional love, and persistence. Their attitude towards life has improved my resilience, like how we’re supposed to act and how we’re supposed to love through them.”

He ended the interview with a message to young people seeking similar community service: “I have seen through my life and others that being with this community for a week can change someone. They aren’t being your friends to get something out of you, but just because of you as a person.”

Interviewed by Kien Tom, a freshman at Post Oak High School. As part of an internship with The Jung Center, Kien is expressing his passion for story-telling by holding conversations with members of our community and highlighting their stories and the ways they’re helping make Houston a better place.

Shopping cart ×
Cart is empty