Bachelor Education in Social Work, Fu Jen Catholic University Taipei, Taiwan
Interning in San Francisco in the area of Supported Living Services (SLS), US
“Special education is a highly rewarding job. You learn to accept and appreciate different forms of abilities, not only in others but also in yourself.” Jun Tang
Love affair with special needs
A love affair with special needs has taken Jun Tang, 24, half way across the world, first to Taiwan and now across the Pacific to San Francisco. As she prepares to go where she is needed, this motivated lass, shows no sign of slowing down.
Sabah born, Tang moved to Kuala Lumpur when she was four with her parents and two younger sisters. After high school she considered a course in early childhood education as she had always enjoyed the company of children. “I attended an education fair and the education counselor whom I chatted with, felt that I had traits that would suit the field of special education,” said Tang explaining her decision to enrol in the Diploma in Special Needs Education with Dika College.
“My time at Dika College was greatly memorable and it had helped me a great deal, professionally and personally. I remember clearly, even to this day, the core values that were instilled in us. It gave me a solid foundation in understanding the concepts of respect, empowerment and advocacy,” said Tang who explained that these values were extremely helpful when she moved on to pursue her degree in Social Work after she graduated from her diploma in 2014.
Tang reminisced that her classes were fun-filled with plenty of hands-on training and role-playing, which harmoniously married theories and practicality. Classes that were focused on educating children with special needs such as with autism, Down syndrome, dyslexia were her personal favourites. She also enthused that her course-mates were incredibly proactive and eager to learn, and this had created a highly-motivating learning ambience.
“When I was studying my diploma, I also worked as a full time special needs teacher at a training centre. It was there that I observed the many learning inconsistencies caused by other aspects, such as dysfunctional familial systems and the lack of resources,” said Tang. This became a turning point as it made her realise that, alongside teaching, she would also need to equip herself with the knowledge and skills in social work. This then led Tang to the decision to pursue her Bachelor of Education in Social Work at the renowned Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei Taiwan.
“I am currently interning in San Francisco in the area of Supported Living Services (SLS),” said Tang who quipped that it was hard to refuse the summer internship offer from Friends of Children with Special Needs (FCSN) in California, USA.
Tang hopes to encourage and promote the idea of independent living for individuals with special needs, where with the support of the community, they are able to fully take charge of their lives. “I strongly believe that by supporting them to make their own choices in life, we are empowering them and giving them the respect that they deserve,” said Tang.
Tang is fun to talk to and is always keen on meeting new people. “My personal hobby is travelling, especially alone! I love going to new places, meeting new people and venturing into the unknown,” said Tang who then shared her favourite quote by Albert Einstein, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”