Justice studies graduate student Francesca Fanucchi never envisioned attending university.
“As a child I struggled in school, often being labelled as lazy and unmotivated. I felt inferior, inadequate, undisciplined, and hopelessly disorganized,” says Fanucchi. A diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sensory processing disorder soon granted her the clarity she needed to move forward.
“I was able to understand and address these struggles,” Fanucchi says. “I learned that these disorders limited my ability to process and comprehend information, compared to my peers. It took me years of practice before I was able to learn how to succeed in school.”
Fanucchi completed high school in Brighton, England. This was a turning point for her. “For the first time in my life I was excelling in school and was presented with opportunities I never thought achievable. I continued my education in England, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology at the University of Sussex.”
Now, Fanucchi is in her last year of her master’s program at SJSU. She has already published an article on the problematic nature of lethal injections in the United States and the People’s Republic of China and is finishing a second paper on botched lethal injections.
“My professors have helped transform the view I have held of myself through their encouragement and mentorship, including receiving the Paula Stone Memorial Scholarship. This has validated my hard work over the past decade and reinforces that students with learning disabilities are capable of excelling in higher education,” says Fanucchi. “I am excited to explore revenge pornography in my thesis and pursue my ultimate goal of a career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I hope my experience encourages other students with learning disabilities to achieve their goals in higher education and reach their full potential.”