Suzanne Walter’s rocky childhood was shaped by foster care, welfare and poverty. Knowing she would not have financial support for college, she started working and saving for her college education at the age of 12. Now experiencing her dream of higher education, she is a graduate student at San José State University studying occupational therapy, a profession that will allow her to pass down her life lessons and strengthen her community.
The California State University has selected Walter as one of its Trustee Emeritus William Hauck and Padget Kaiser Scholar for 2018. The CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement is given each year to students who demonstrate superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service, and financial need.
Suzanne’s empathy for others and drive to help are the core of who she is. She served a year in AmeriCorps, co-led a vocational skills program for at-risk youth, started an after-school program and for years, provided home aid to seniors. She recently accepted a leadership position on the board of the Student Occupational Therapy Association, and was invited to join the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi for earning a 3.92 GPA her first semester back in school.
MY EMPATHY FOR OTHERS AND DRIVE TO HELP ARE AT THE CORE OF WHO I AM AS A PERSON.
A career in occupational therapy will allow Suzanne to focus on helping people overcome many of the same health and personal struggles she has faced in her own life.