Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Graduate

The Graduate
Originally uploaded by Nieve44/La Luz

Accidents and inspiration lead you to your destination...(words and music by Mary Chapin Carpenter)

Back around the year 2000, I accidentally ran into Kim after stepping outside from my office to catch a breath of fresh air and looked to my right and here comes this student. She was like no other student I had seen before as she was walking with a cane steadfastly to the bus stop with tears in her eyes. She had just failed her Algebra exam and had made up her mind, “that’s it, I’m quitting college”. Well, to make a long story short, she didn’t quit college. I made her come into my office and the very next semester with the help of tutors she turned that F into an A. She struggled and persevered beyond her visual limitations and two years later had graduated, separated from her abusive husband and met Jhon her current husband and also visually impaired.

Over the years we kept in touch and became good friends...(because of Chulo as he was a gift from Kim). Funny how it all went by so fast and now she’s looking over her shoulder at the past….accidents and inspiration lead you to your destination. She’ll tell you that I inspired her that first day we met but I can tell you that today she inspired me and never ceases to amaze me. Today, Kim received her Master’s degree from the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston, my alma matter (undergrad) and I was never more prouder or honored to witness her success and inspiration as she graduated Summa Cum Laude (highest honors) not once but three times as she did with her Associates and Bachelor’s degree. So here’s to you Kim and to Jhon as he continues to amaze me as well. This summer he will be finishing top of his class from the Massage Therapy program at the community college where I work. Kim has limited vision but Jhon is completely blind but to meet these two individuals you would never know it. Never once, have I heard either complain about their limitations and in fact you’re more likely to hear them make jokes about it.

As an academic counselor at the college, I love this time of the year when commencement comes around as it's a time of celebration and jubilation in academia. Over the years, I've attended many graduation ceremonies but today's was special and I was honored to witness such success and perseverance. Congratulations to the Graduate and the class of 2009 for today was your destination Kim.

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