On Saturday, December 16, Taylor Dearman crossed the commencement stage at Texas A & M University in Corpus Christi to receive her Bachelor of Science degree in Reading Education. By her side – as she has been for the past four years – was Skittles, Dearman’s service dog.
The joyous day marked an occasion Dearman may never have experienced if not for the mixed breed pup.
“At my last university, I started experiencing anxiety, severe depression and seizures,” Dearman shared with the university blog. “It was so bad that I had to quit school and take a year off. I ended up moving to Georgia, and that is where I met Skittles.”
The dog accompanied her to all of her classes and even inspired her to change her major from nursing to education. In Dearman’s student teaching courses, Skittles became an invaluable teaching tool.
She helped educate the students about the responsibilities of owning a service dog and the diverse range of people who may depend on them.
Dearman and Skittles will officially begin their new job as fifth-grade Reading Teachers for Kostoryz Elementary School in January.
“As an educator, I’m more willing to tell everyone that just because you can’t see a disability doesn’t mean it’s not there,” said Dearman. “I think that’s where Skittles has helped me the most. I know I’m different but together as a team, we’ve come so far and have accomplished so many great things.”
Featured Image Screenshot via YouTube/Inside Edition