Layoff was blessing says woman making a difference

Amanda Wise and 8-year old Drew Dansavage
Amanda Wise and 8-year old Drew Dansavage
Amanda Wise
Amanda Wise

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - This is a story of Amanda Wise and 8-year old Drew Dansavage. The simple act of guiding a special needs child brings the kind of joy Wise never thought was possible.

"I'm lucky that I have a job that I love," said Wise.

A love borne out of two devastating blows. The sudden loss of her dad, the athletic director at Highland Home school and not long after, the abrupt lay-off from her job of two years in Montgomery.

"It was a big blow," she said.

Moments of clarity during her darkest hour.

"My past disappointments don't compare to how happy I am right now, although I miss my dad very much,' said Wise.

Calling it a blessing in disguise, Wise says the lay-off pushed her into what she's always wanted to do, work with children with special needs, turning profound disappointments and sadness into positives, lessons in character passed down from home.

"My dad always motivated me and I never heard him complain about his job. He got up everyday and looked forward to going to work," said Wise.

At Prattville Elementary School, Wise is an assistant, assisting not only the teachers but the very people who need it the most. Wise works with about 5 special needs children everyday.

"Something they can't do like turn pages, not able to get their snacks out of their lunchbox," Wise said.

Amanda Wise is quick to say this is not all about her making a difference with special needs children at Prattville Elementary. She is more than willing to spread the wealth.

"I'm not the only one that does that here. Without all of us it would be kind of hard for very everyone," Wise said.

While working the children Wise is also wrapping up college. She's a year away from graduating and becoming a special education teacher herself.

Amanda Wise, making a difference with children like Drew in the halls of learning.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.