The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Student refuses to let disorder hold her back


A person of few words, Sarah Walker's action speaks volumes about her passion to help others.

Walker, a special need student at Dora High School, spearheaded her second food drive at Dora schools, collecting 380 pounds of non-perishable goods in four days for the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico.

Walker, 21, has Angelman syndrome, a neuro-genetic disorder that causes developmental delays, particularly in her speech. But those who know her say her disorder has never held her back from doing what she does best, helping those in need.

"Sarah loves everyone, she always has a smile on her face," said Susie Thomas, Walker's special education teacher.

Thomas said Walker takes the initiative to rally the troops for her community service projects. Walker saw the food drive all the way through, from sending notes home with students to bagging the food that was collected.

"She's kind of our cheerleader throughout the school," Thomas said. "The kids here really respond to Sarah, that's why her picture is on the (food drive) flyers."

Walker will even award the two classrooms who collected the most food, one from the elementary school and one from the high school, with ice cream sandwiches.

As Walker approaches her last year at Dora schools, she will hold one last food drive next spring. Her teachers and peers plan to continue her food drive because they say it's Walker's legacy. They're also considering making her slogan of, "Got food? Some don't," permanent.

Her food drives are just one example of what Walker does to give back. Her full-time aid Cindy Cordova said she also bags commodities at her local church every month and visits the food bank to give a lending hand when needed.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune

Sarah Walker throws up her arms to show how she

posed in her food drive posters. Her food

drive's slogan was, "Got food? Some don't"

"Anytime someone needs help Sarah helps them," Cordova said. "It could be as something as small as carrying books."

Walker's goal, which she set at the beginning of the school year, is to help people who are less fortunate than she is.

"You just have to know Sarah. She just wants to spread smiles," Thomas said.

Cordova says the community is grateful that Walker's mother Lisa shares her with the world.

"She makes sure Sarah is as active as she wants to be," Cordova said. "She sees her contributing to society."


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