The 2017 Summit Disability Law Group scholarship is proudly awarded to Julia LiPuma. Julia is a hard-working, dedicated, social student who lives with cerebral palsy. She takes daunting tasks, such as applying for this scholarship, and turns them into large accomplishments. Julia quotes, ” My cognitive abilities are normal but my processing speed is severely below the norm. What this translates to is that when given a task, any task, it will require 3x more time for me to complete than the typical student. This essay, for example, would take many people less than an hour to craft. What you are reading is the result of over two hours of work.”
Read the rest of Julia’s inspiring story in her own words:
“I know I can accomplish anything as long as it is broken into manageable pieces. Well maybe not everything – I do have cerebral palsy and at times, this makes my life challenging. So you will not see me win the gold medal at figure skating, but most other tasks I can surely do. I have come to have faith in my abilities and have discovered I am a visual learner with a great memory. I am strong socially and connect easily with people. I love talking to people, which has led to an enduring special interest in volunteering. Facing the daily struggles of cerebral palsy has given me the ability to better understand people and challenges. Empathy has guided me into my chosen career path of psychology. During my college years I hope to build relationships with my professors, collaboratively work with peers, and help to better the greater community. I am a motivated, passionate student who works hard to achieve goals.
My processing deficit, coupled with a muscle fatigue factor (thank you cerebral palsy) make it critical for me to learn how to better organize and plan my time.
I have been so fortunate to have loving, supportive parents and an I.E.P. team who have all helped me in this area. In the fall I will attend the University of Delaware and make the transition to fully independent living as a responsible college student. I recognize that I will need to dissect large projects into smaller manageable tasks, and develop a weekly schedule on how to complete all of my academic and physical responsibilities. This requires a high level of discipline and strong organizational skills. I truly believe that I understand my limitations and am ready to independently balance the pushes and pulls of academia, physical therapy, volunteering and personal interests.”