By Erin Enguero, KIN undergraduate student
Since 1999, the William Randolph Hearst/ CSU Trustees Award has recognized one student from each campus who has overcome adversity while demonstrating exceptional academic, personal, and community achievements. At the time I applied for this scholarship, I had been wearing hearing aides for nine years, was elected as SJSU Pre-Physical Therapy Club Treasurer, and was hired at the campus Student Health Center as a Physical Therapy Aide. When I became one of 23 award winners of the William Randolph Hearst/ CSU Trustees Award, and the first student scholar that was hearing impaired, it was a lot to take-in, as I had only just completed my first year of college!
Last week on September 18th, I woke up at 4:30am to fly down with my family to Long Beach to attend the awards ceremony at the CSU Chancellor’s Office.
To get to this point, I have overcome social and educational challenges of being a hearing impaired student, which has pushed me to reach higher levels of success. Stories of other award winners were also powerful including candidates who had faced homelessness, abuse, poverty, and additional hardships. I was in awe of what my fellow award winners had accomplished. We all shared the funny sentiment that the candidate next to us had a story more inspiring than ours! I feel so blessed to have met such a talented, humble, and resilient group of students. Scholarships often recognize individuals for their community service and leadership, but to celebrate life challenges that have strengthened our spirits is truly an exceptional recognition.
After receiving a surprising bundle of gifts from Sony, a standing ovation from members of the Chancellors Office, and the opportunity to shake President Quayomi’s hand, I am still trying to take-in what this great accomplishment means. The one thing that is clear in my mind is that it is a thrill to be a member of the CSU system and a representative of SJSU. Most importantly, I am blessed to be a student of the Kinesiology department. Due to their welcoming arms, I am proud to be the individual who I am today and am excited to see what is around the next corner!