Disabilities Day Inspires Students to Overcome

Student Trustee Michael Griggs students of all abilities hope for leadership roles.

By Camila Tabar, Staff Writer

This past Thursday, Disabilities Awareness Day sought to defy stigmas and motivate all students to get involved on campus.

“We don’t believe that [Valley College] should just be a commuter school,” said Associated Student Union President Alexia Johnson. “[College] is an opportunity to make friends and have fun.”

On Halloween, more than two dozen people of all ages and abilities, gathered in Monarch Hall in support of their school and fellow students. The event was free and only lasted an hour, but it left attendees with numerous resources and networking opportunities.

Speaker Michael Griggs believes all students, disabled or not, should experience all that extracurricular activities have to offer them. As a student trustee and president of Los Angeles Mission College’s Associated Student Organization, Griggs spoke at the event to inspire other students with exceptional needs to get involved as well. Living with cerebral palsy, he does not let his disability thwart his dreams.

“My disability does not define me,” Griggs said. “I define my disability.”

Griggs went on to address how he believes people with exceptional needs should be better portrayed in the media, but he still feels that barriers can only really be defied by the individual.

“Having a disability, you can’t expect to have the door always held wide open for you,” Griggs said. “For me, I just need a little crack in the door and I’ll run right through it.”

As further incentive, Johnson highlighted the perks of being a part of college clubs.

“College is not just about working hard; it’s also about networking,” Johnson said. “[Students can receive] scholarships in clubs that are easy and fun.”

Valley’s numerous clubs and student body government are always welcoming new members.

If students cannot find a club suited to their interests, they always have the option of creating a new club. Visit http://www.lavc.edu/ASU/ for more information about the ASU and new club registration forms.

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