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SILVER CROSS Ability Achievement Scholarship Winner

We are proud to introduce the winner of the SILVER CROSS Ability Achievement Scholarship!

The SILVER CROSS Scholarship was offered to full time college and university students who use either a manual wheelchair, power wheelchair, or mobility scooter while attending classes. One applicant was selected to receive the $3,000.00 scholarship award. Our goal with this award was to contribute towards the future of a wheelchair user by offering the winning student financial assistance to help cover the expenses of tuition and books.

The essay question was:

"What goals have you set for your career and future life and what is your source of inspiration to conquer your perceived challenges in achieving these goals?"


Robin Walker AwardThe winning submission came from Robin Walker who is a student attending The University of Mississippi.

Here is her essay:

Ever since high school, I have been extremely goal oriented. Growing up with a single father, my dad would often ask me, “How can you stand to be so busy?”. To this day, I still give him the same reply, “These activities are all ingredients to the future I want for myself.”

My outgoingness and perseverance have always been part of my character. I am not determined as a paraplegic, but I am determined as a strong female. After a drunk-driving incident left me paralyzed below my knees at the age of seven, my dad was the first to point out how I did not “skip a beat” once I was out of the hospital. I played, laughed and participated just as I always had.

The goals I have set for myself have never evolved around my disability; but it is always inspiring when I can be that source of encouragement for someone in a similar situation. I attribute my “attitude of normalcy” completely to my father, Bo Walker. Aside from the general care that my disability required, my dad did not treat me any differently that he did the day I was born. I left the hospital and came home to a ramp instead of those four old steps. Then I gathered my backpack and prepared to finish out the second grade with my classmates I had missed so much during my six months in the hospital.

Fast-forwarding sixteen years to my present educational goals, I am currently enjoying a few days off of school as I prepare to begin summer courses. This fall, I will be beginning my last year in the Masters of Higher Education and Student Personnel program at The University of Mississippi. It would have been easy for me to have given up after second grade, high school or even my undergraduate degree, but that is not characteristic of me at all. While I have a multitude of paths I wish to take in the future, I know that at the present, my education is my career. I am dedicating my time inside and outside of the classroom to explore multiple avenues, and not allowing myself to become pigeonholed into one job. I have a dynamic personality, and I know when I finally conclude my schooling, I will be searching for that career to match my characteristics.

Overall, I always tend to answer questions about those who inspire me with ease. It is only when I have to see myself as an “inspiration,” where I become the most confused. I overcame a lot of challenge when I was young. This adversity laid a foundation for the confidence I carry with me each day. I see myself no differently than the family, peers and mentors I surround myself with. While I may encounter an inaccessible building from time to time, these challenges are minuscule compared to the academic endeavors I overcome as a student each and every semester.

Robin Walker Belize Robin Walker Skydiving

Congratulations Robin!

You are an inspiration to all of us!

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