Making the most out of life
By Karen Fallon
For Kevin every day is a challenge…one that he meets head-on with passion and determination.
When it comes to mobility, Kevin depends solely on his wheelchair – he has no use in his legs.
His dexterity is also limited. However, it never seems to restrict him from meeting the goals he sets for himself.
Ask Kevin before any class begins: “How are you today?” and the answer was always the same.
“Just peachy,” he will say. “It’s good to be alive.”
And he means what he says.
Kevin’s goal is to become a working journalist.
Over the past two years he has proven that he has not only the ability to become a journalist, but he also has the determination and drive to be up there with the best.
Even with his physical restrictions, Kevin earned an “A” in all three courses he took with me. And when I say earned
I mean just that. He was always in class. He was attentive, asked questions, worked outside of class hours on projects
and often pushed the others into following through with their responsibilities when doing group work.
Next month Kevin will graduate from St. Clair College as a converged journalist. By converged I mean that he is not only
a print journalist, but that he can also function in the other mediums of radio, TV, and the web. He is also proficient
in the art of pagination and design.
As a teacher in the Print Journalism and New Media program at St. Clair College’s Center for the Arts, over the past
fifteen years I have had the opportunity to witness first-hand the drive and determination of several students who haverisen above their various disabilities to achieve their diploma in journalism.
One student who springs to mind is blind. He came into the program four years ago when following his dream of becoming a
As a teacher whose instruction revolves around desktop publishing programs, I had to amend my course to accommodate this student.
And although the courses were tweaked it was no less difficult for him, just a little different.
As with Kevin this student met the challenges he faced head-on and also went on to graduate from the program.
What I have found as a teacher is that those students with disabilities coming into the program tend to work harder andbe more focused on the task at hand than most to achieve their dream.
They are, in fact, an example to us all. We could all take a page out of Kevin’s book and others like him and face each day as a blessing.
On occasion it is easy for most of us to wallow in self-pity when things are not going our way. However, most peoplehave a lot to be thankful for and after all as Kevin said: “It is good to be alive.”