As a student labeled with a learning disability at the tender age of six, I was given no hope for future academic success. I was thrown into a self-contained special education setting for six straight years, and it wasn’t until I reached middle school when I finally worked my way back into the mainstreamed setting. However, with that said, I remained in the “low” track in all content areas through my senior year of high school. The special education director of my school district told my parents that I would never graduate from high school, much less attend college. He strongly suggested to my parents that they ship me off to western Pennsylvania, where I could learn a trade. He said that was the only way I would ever function successfully into society. My parents, who believed in my academic abilities, declined his offer. In 1993, I graduated from high school. In 1998, I graduated from Eastern University with a 3.2 grade point average in elementary education. And now, seven years later, I am graduating, with distinguised honors, with my Master’s degree in education with a concentration in special education.
I was never given a chance to succeed at an academic level. As a child growing up, I constantly was teased and tormented by my peers, all whom told me that I was “stupid,” “dumb,” a “retard,” etc. I sustained a great amount of verbal, as well physical abuse, just because I had a label. And now, after all of these years, I have learned one very important lesson. Never listen to what others tell you what you can or cannot do. There are no limitations to what one person can accomplish. Plato once said; “The direction in which education starts, a man will determine his future life.” With all due respect to the great philosopher, this is a false statement. Anyone can do anything as long as they have the faith and confidence in themselves. external forces only play a negative role if you allow it to. YOU are the one that can determine your future, not society.
Cabrini College has been great to me over the last couple of years. Each and every one of my professors has been nothing short of professional. Their knowledge of the subject and content areas have allowed me to grow in ways I never thought were possible. Thank you, Cabrini, for believing in my abilities, helping me find my strenthgs and build upon my weaknesses, and giving me the confidence to continue on this journy of academic success. I will always speak highly of the students, the professors, and the strong programs that are offered here. Cabrini offered more to me than just an education. If gave me a real sense of pride, and I can say now that I am proud to be a Cabrini graduate.