Family and faculty gathered at Fullerton College to acknowledge the scholarships, graduations and achievements of students helped by Disability Support Services May 5.
Wasting no time, faculty began to hand out scholarships.
New to Fullerton College, Alexis Atkins received the Kasey Crouse Memorial Scholarship and was recognized for her work with foster children.
The second award of the day was given to sociology major, Humberto De Santiago, accepting the Jason Horn Memorial Scholarship. When his passion for playing baseball came to an end after being told he could no longer play sports, he fixated himself on college.
Taking a different path than first expected, in his speech Santiago stated, “I am happy with my decision.”
Cheryl Bordelon accepted this year’s Shawna Morrill Memorial Scholarship. Bordelon shared a touching speech where she opened up about the struggles she had overcame in living with her disability.
“Because I have no visually obvious characteristics of being disabled, I have experienced being discredited and mistreated as a person,” Bordelon said.
Bordelon’s overall message was that of hope and determination. Sitting in class many mornings hungry, that did not differ her from continuing her schooling.
Other winners were Krista VanDyke for the Frances Wahl Scholarship and Katherine Myers for the Scholarship for Student Affected by Acquired Brain Injuries.
Following these awards, guest speaker Alan Brantley gave an inspiring speech about his journey and the obstacles he faced as a person living with a disability.
“My previous experience with school had been discontinuous and disjointed. I attended 10 schools in four states by the time I dropped out at 15, ” Brantley said.
Brantley is a double major in math and physics with a goal of one day attending Berkeley.
Throughout the event students who have or are about to graduate from Fullerton College were recognized.
Lastly, FC student Kimberly O’Campo introduced the Staff of Distinction recipient, Dr. Gretchen Stanton.
O’Campo is a student of Stanton’s who is a first year Chemistry Professor at Fullerton. Working with a student with disabilities can present some challenges however, Stanton’s only concern was providing resources for O’Campo to access.
The event ended with photos, cake and gifts to celebrate the day.
For more information on the Disability Support Services visit their website at: