W. Tennis' Dalton Spends Free Time at Campus School
March 3, 2014
Written by senior Kristen Scott
Junior women's tennis player Sarah Dalton has been helping out at the Special Olympics in Dubuque, Iowa, since she was seven years old. Ever since her older sister, Jenny, started competing in the Special Olympics, Dalton has been cheering her on and offering support to the other athletes.
"It's usually little things. Like at the Winter Special Olympics, if someone needs help putting their boots on, that's what I'm there for. There's also opening ceremonies and a dance. I go with my older sister every year," said Dalton.
Coming to Boston College from Iowa, Dalton was unsure of her new environment. However, she pushed herself to be open-minded and try different organizations and pursue challenging courses. Dalton approaches life in the same way.
Dalton's open-mindedness led her to volunteering at the Boston College Campus School. The Campus School at Boston College is a non-profit, publicly funded school for special needs students up to age 21 with varying disabilities.
"When I got to BC and I found out about the Campus School, I thought it was such a great idea. It's right on campus and Sean Shofield made it possible. I'm really busy with tennis, so I don't have as many hours to give as I would like, but [Shofield] made sure that I could get involved as much as I can," said Dalton. "He also established drop-in volunteering hours which are awesome for a lot of athletes that don't have the most time but still want to help out."
Although playing on the women's tennis team occupies much of Dalton's time, volunteering with the Campus School allows her to change the pace of her busy schedule and immerse herself in a different setting.
"Life is so crazy at BC with challenging classes and the competitiveness of tennis that it's nice to step out of that, gain some perspective, and realize that not everyone has the same viewpoint as you," Dalton said.
Dalton, eager to get her teammates involved, organized an activity day for the Campus School with the entire BC tennis program. The men's and women's tennis teams set up different stations to do sensory activities like swinging racquets with the Campus School kids.
"They didn't care who won the races. They were just so happy and having fun all the time. When you're in that environment with the kids genuinely enjoying life, you can't help but be happy too," said Dalton of her experiences at the Special Olympics and the Campus School.
"It's all about trying new things and being open to new people and new ideas. People come into your life for a reason. Expose yourself to as many perspectives as you can," Dalton said.