Dear young Caitlin,

You are about to embark on a new chapter in your life, getting ready for your first ride on the big yellow bus to kindergarten. You don't know it now but learning and education will be an important part of your life. You will become a teacher.

In elementary school you will learn that you are smart, naturally athletic and good at making friends. You will continue to improve your talents and learn new skills as you move through life. Always be willing and open-minded to try new things.

High school will be tough. You are a good person and you expect the best in others. Know that, unfortunately, people will not always live up to your expectations. Don't let this get you down and influence you to change your ways. Stay true to you. Let your struggles make you stronger.

It is in a summer of university when you find your true passion, working with children with special needs. The joy you get from helping other people cannot be beaten. Being able to focus on the little things in life makes you happy and proud. Follow that joy and do what makes you happy.

No matter the challenge, you will find your centre in the classroom. Keep that in your heart and mind and you'll be okay. We are about to embark on a fabulous journey together.

Love Caitlin 2015

Portrait by Angela Durante Dukát