At ‘My Story,’ Students Share Their Struggles and Accomplishments

By Sonia Martinez

Throughout CSI’s campus, accommodations are made for students with physical disabilities. Every building used for academic purposes are equipped with a ramp, elevator and automatic buttons that will open doors for individuals. But there are some students who suffer from disabilities others cannot see.

“My disability is invisible,” said Shanelle Scott. “You would never know I had a brain tumor because I’m so full of energy.”

Scott suffered from astrocytoma, a brain tumor that kept her from pursuing her education at CSI. After battling cancer–both its side effects of treatment, and the stress of school work–Scott is now cancer free and will be graduating this June.

Scott was one of seven students who shared their personal stories at CSI’s 6th annual “My Story” event on April 16. The event was sponsored by the Center for Student Accessibility who serves about 600 students with disabilities.

The students who spoke at this event shared their academic accomplishments and how others can learn from the hardships they had to overcome.

Their disabilities ranged from learning disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and Asperger syndrome. Some had been diagnosed with physical disabilities like dwarfism and blindness.

Silverstein struggles with everyday challenges, as many students with disabilities do.

“When you have something that possesses your mind,” said Silverstein. “It’s invisible to the naked eye”

There is a strong sense of community when it comes to students with disabilities. Many of the students talked about their involvement with many different clubs on and off campus and how they were able to find their voice through these programs.

“It doesn’t matter the physical or mental differences, the challenges or realities,” said Silverstein. “What I have doesn’t define who I am.”

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