Meet Sara Carmen
Meet Sara Carmen — Arc Sibshop Super Sib!
Meet Sara Carmen — one of our SUPER SIBS at The Arc of Snohomish County!
Sara lives in Snohomish County with her two sisters, her mom and dad, and the family’s two dogs. One of her sisters experiences developmental disabilities.
In her free time, Sara likes to listen to music and sketch. She describes both music and art as a way to “have her own space.” For her, it is a way of setting her own boundaries, “resetting her brain,” and going over things in her head. She shared: “[My sister] knows that when I’m listening to music, it’s my time.”
(What a wonderful example of how essential it is for all of us to set aside time for self-reflection and to know what we need for ourselves as we sort through our thoughts and feelings and take the time to “reset” our own minds. Thank you, Sara, for sharing that insight.)
Sara is currently in the ninth grade and enjoys attending online school.
When asked about her future “dream job,” she shared: “For a long time, it was to be a singer. But I’ve kind of moved to a different point. Right now, I would like to try to become a Home Care Aid.”
She wants to support people with disabilities, who are living in the community. She is also teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL) by watching YouTube videos. She is a natural leader and educator.
“In 3rd grade, I used to go to public school and would go to the Life Skills Class to hang out during lunch,” she elaborated. “I knew all the kids there; all of their names and their disabilities, and all of their teachers. I learned stuff about the kids.”
They quickly became friends, and Sara shared stories of times when she raised awareness about disabilities and stuck up for her friends against bullying. She often stands up for her sister, too, as well as others.
“I’ve always had feelings that every kid needs to be treated the same,” she said.
The Arc of Snohomish County’s Sibshop program is a specially tailored program for children, ages 8 to 12, and teens, ages 13 to 18, who have siblings with developmental disabilities. (Learn more about the national Sibshop program at siblingsupport.org.)
Sara has attended Sibshops for some time. She talked about how nice it is to meet other youth who share the experience of having a sibling with developmental disabilities. She enjoys talking to other siblings as it provides her an opportunity to learn about other types of disabilities and to connect with other kids who understand some of her feelings.
One of her favorite Sibshop activities is completing the ropes course and zipline at High Trek Adventures in Everett. She also enjoys the art activities and will sometimes submit the artwork she completes at Sibshops to display in the youth art exhibit at the Evergreen State Fair.
Sara even acts as an unofficial community ambassador for Arc Sibshops. When she meets other siblings of kids with disabilities, she makes certain to tell them about The Arc and how much FUN you can have at Sibshops. She encourages them to participate and shares that Sibshops might be a way for them to “find friends that know how they feel and what they are going through at home.”
Thank you very much, Sara, for helping us get the word out to all of the amazing Sibs in Snohomish County! You are quite the Super Sib yourself!
Whitney Stohr is a Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent/family caregivers. She lives with her four-year-old son Malachi and husband Jason in Lynnwood. Connect with her on Instagram @rollin.w.spinabifida. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.