Remarkable 12-year-old raises money for iPads to help special education students

BURIEN, Wash. -- A seventh-grader did something very "special" for the special education students at her school. She raised money so they could get iPads. It's opening up a whole new way of learning for them.

Twelve-year-old Cassidy Huff has a rare dwarfism syndrome, but she doesn’t let it stop her.

“Disabled means un-abled,” she says. “I’m not un-abled, I’m just differently abled.”

When she was home recovering from her latest surgery, she started thinking about the special education students she tutors at Sylvester Middle School. She wondered if there was a way she could help them.

“I believe my job is to make them happy, instead of just focusing on myself.”

Many of the students have trouble speaking.

“I have some that kind of verbalize,” says special education teacher Amy Moore. “But it’s not coherent enough to be their primary way of communicating.”

Cassidy realized iPads might help.

“I could not believe a 7th-grader has the compassion she has,” Moore says. “Plus the understanding of what these kids need. To pick out the one thing that would be the most important for these kids, that was all her.”

Cassidy spent the last few months raising money. On Friday, she thanked her fellow students for helping her raise $6000.

“It was my idea, but it was your generosity that got us here,” she said at a school assembly. “You guys are going to change people’s lives.”

Teachers agree that the new technology will make a huge difference.

“It’s extremely exciting to know these kids can have their own voice,” says Moore. “Instead of us always guessing and doing it for them.”

Cassidy is happy to help, and to prove that how you’re born doesn’t have to define how you live your life.
“My motto is you can do anything you set your mind to.”