AUBURN, Mass. – From an early age, Auburn High School senior Emma Furmanick has had a deep interest in helping children who have learning disabilities. When she was younger, her neighbor with autism would come to her house to play, and she has helped special-needs children ever since.
“I want them to have the same experiences that we do,” Furmanick said. “I want them to have the same things I do because they’re not really much different other than the fact that they have a disability.”
Recently, Furmanick was recognized for her work with disabled individuals when she received the Rocket of the Week award. She said Auburn High School teachers nominated her for helping special-needs children in the club called Rocket to Rockets.
“I guess I stuck out to them,” Furmanick said. “The teachers wrote in their nominations how I’m always around the special-needs kids, helping out at snack time or doing whatever they need, and how I stick out to the kids.”
“I was totally surprised that I got it [the award],” she added. “I did not see it coming, but I’m glad it did.”
Furmanick was also nominated for the award for her involvement with the club called Invisible Children, a group that brings awareness to the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war in Central Africa.
“They wrote how my motives are pure, and I’m not doing it for attention,” she said. “That’s really how I am.”
Next year, Furmanick said, she’s hoping to major in education at a local college. Then from education, she plans to go into special education.
“I love special-needs kids, and I can’t wait to major in it,” she said.