Each year, disAbility Services at Amarillo College leads a community-wide effort to bolster scholarship funding for students with disabilities who are committed to academic success and to Living Independently Through Education (LITE).
The 15th annual LITE Luncheon theme this year is ‘Perseverance’.
The student speakers, each of whom has been named a LITE Outstanding Student, shared stories of perseverance-over-disability at AC. They also will reveal how LITE scholarships have been pivotal to their success. AC distributed about 50 LITE scholarships of $1,000 each over the past year alone.
“It was really a rewarding thing for me to be able to receive a scholarship,” said Beth Mowry, an AC student who was diagnosed with a learning disability while still in high school. “I have two young daughters and if I were to have to pay out of pocket for all my expenses, I wouldn’t be able to go to college.
“Perseverance to me means pushing myself every time, every class hour that I take,” she said. “I know that I have to push maybe harder than some, but I think that also leads to character. I know I have the ability to push through difficult times, and so I do.”
AC’s disAbility Services conducts the LITE Luncheon in conjunction with the Amarillo Advisory Commission for People with Disabilities, the AC Foundation, the Civic Center and other community organizations. AC typically serves more than 400 students with disabilities in a given semester, and the luncheon has helped raise about a quarter of a million dollars since 2002.
“This event is all about making higher education a reality for our students,” Brenda Rossnagel, director of disAbility Services, said. “This community has been immensely supportive of our efforts and we’re extremely thankful.
“When we unite as a community, we make a difference for our students with disabilities, who then make a difference in the world that belongs to all of us.”