aerial view swalm and governors landing landmark school

Finding My Voice

By Callie Dangel ’20

Callie Dangel script Landmark School

The text on my script represents a confrontation that happened 12 years ago between my best friend and me. Why is this significant? It was the moment I realized I was unable to use words to fully express my emotions like others could. Fortunately enough, she had patience with me because she understood what it was like to have challenges. Our personal obstacles brought us together. Although I was taken out of class to attend speech therapy, I did not feel isolated because my close friend remained my lifeline. Having her on my side made me want to try harder to start communicating. 

It was not until the age of 5 that I said “go home” in the parking lot of the supermarket to my mom—my first understandable words. My mom did just that. From that point on, I began to find my voice and prove that I could do more than sign language and paint rainbows. 

A Place to Cultivate Her Talent

Visual art stuck with me and remained an essential outlet. Rainbows evolved into stick figures, clay animals, colorful drawings and paintings, and doodles all over my homework assignments. I eventually discovered the importance of expressing myself through spoken words. However, school still presented obstacles. I was diagnosed with a learning disability. While my school tried to help, they were not able to provide what I needed. During eighth grade, my family started looking for an alternative. I was hopeful because I didn’t see a future for learning at my school. My family discovered Landmark School, which impressed us immediately. I could visualize myself being successful in the welcoming atmosphere. Thankfully, I was accepted, and Landmark School became a place where I could thrive academically and cultivate my art skills. 

Throughout my time at Landmark, I became more at ease with talking than I ever believed possible. My art ability grew with my speech output. I expanded my creative interests to other media, particularly the art of moving pictures. Last year, I participated in a film literature class. This opened my eyes to a whole new form of expression. I discovered the myriad of elements incorporated into each film. One specific aspect captured my attention: screenwriting. It is the blueprint from which the movie comes to life. The combination of visuals and language are reminiscent of my own evolution and inevitable destiny. 

It is exciting to discover a new art form and career path. My educational journey has literally propelled me to “find my voice” within the classroom and the world of art, and I am excited to uncover what the future holds. 

Callie Dangel outside photo