May 07, 2014 8:30AM
Lindsey Greve doesn’t have perfect vision, but she sees clearly where she can make a difference in the world.
“I want to work with special needs children,” Greve said. “I just want to help them learn and develop.”
Greve is one of more than 1,100 students eligible to participate in commencement exercises at Pittsburg State University this week. She will earn a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, majoring in early childhood development with a minor in special education, in ceremonies scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 10.
Greve said her own experience has led her to try to help children with their own special challenges in their lives.
“When I was in first grade,” Greve said, “I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor.”
The surgeries and radiation treatments that were required to remove the tumor and a later recurrence have had lasting effects, Greve said.
“I am blind in my left eye, have no peripheral vision in my right, and I don’t have very good balancing skills,” Greve said. “And I’m very temperature sensitive.”
Despite the challenges, Greve has persevered and succeeded. At PSU, she has been active in campus events, clubs and Pitt Pals. She served as a youth friend at a local elementary school and has worked with developmentally disabled adults at MOSAIC in Pittsburg. She was a member of the ENACTUS team that competed at the U.S. National Exposition in Cincinnati this spring and has been inducted into multiple honor societies, including the prestigious Phi Kappa Phi. She has also been active in state professional organizations.
Greve said the support of family, friends and the university community has been important to her success.
“All of the teachers have been very helpful,” Greve said.
That includes those who helped steer her toward the early childhood emphasis in Family and Consumer Sciences.
“Early Childhood opened up doors for me,” Greve said.
The road hasn’t always been easy, Greve said. She finds transportation a special challenge.
“My step-dad drives me to campus on his way to work,” Greve said. “I take public transportation when I can.”
Through it all, Greve said, her mother, a teacher in Carl Junction, Mo., has been her most constant source of encouragement.
“I go to her to get a lot of support,” Greve said.
Now that school is about over, Greve said she is looking for that job that will let her make the kind of difference she hopes to make.
“Because of my experience,” Greve said, “I understand more about where they (special needs students) need help. I understand the effect teachers can have on their lives.”