I remember my two wonderful years at Santa Rosa Junior College before transferring to USF. I remember having to wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning to register for my classes to ensure I got the classes I needed. I was just 19 years old and was feeling discouraged because I was told I was not smart enough and did not have good enough grades to be a college student. I felt like the system was just the cloud and I was going through it. I was in Astronomy 4 and took a class in a planetarium while attending Santa Rosa, the only planetarium in the California System of Community Colleges. I served on the Board of Trustees for my Community College and had mentors that taught me life lessons that I could not have learned had I come to USF out of high school.
When I transferred, I had high hopes for my education at the University of San Francisco. My first few days here were a little bit scary because USF is so different from community college, but I was excited. At the beginning of my two years of community college I started a journey to prove to myself that I could make it to a university, as long as I believed in myself and others believed in me.
Two years later, I transferred over 60 units with a GPA over 3.0. I achieved something very powerful. As a student with a learning disability, I pushed myself to gain acceptance into a 4-year institution and prove the system wrong, one way or another. Now I have a voice; a voice to create change and a voice to create an environment that enriches the Catholic Jesuit core values.
Today, I feel lucky to have met everyone I have, from those in my media studies major orientation to all the students that I met through the Davies Honors Program, thanks to Professor Kidd’s invitation.
As a student with a learning disability, I try to interact with students and engage in conversation with those who want to create a change, and change by doing.
I am particularly honored to have known certain students and be able to call them my colleagues. Alex Platt and Chris Begley, both people of whom I know very well, have made the media studies department what it is on campus, along with others I did not mention. However, I was a little intimidated by Alex Platt, Chris Begley, Kate Elston and everyone else who was in that Davies Program at first.
Another person I am thankful for meeting, Nicholas Mukhar, a true friend of mine, has always been there for engaging in thought-provoking discussions everyday about our Davies forum final project. I hope you will join us in our conference that we are creating towards mid November concerning the needs of college students with learning disabilities.
Professor Kidd had much faith in me and believed I could be successful in all the classes I wanted to take. I do not know one professor who let me grow as much as she has. She has made my days here better; even the days I am being cynical. Professor Kidd is the one teacher in this institution who has changed me for the better.
I have come to some conclusions during my time at USF through the strong influence of my Roman Catholic background. First, I never take the easy way out and always strive to do my best possible job. Second, just because the educational system categorizes you and me as “not good enough” does not mean they cannot be proven wrong.
Transfer students and students with disabilities can make just as much of an impact at USF as any other student on this campus.