Director's Digressions

Sheryl Burgstahler

All aboard the DO-IT train! This year DO-IT traveled across the United States for the second consecutive year to recruit the 1997 Scholars. They are a creative and talented bunch of high school students with disabilities who are excited to meet others with common interests, goals, and challenges. These Phase I Scholars will be arriving in Seattle, in August to attend a two-week Summer Study program at the University of Washington. During the second week of the program, these students will be joined by the Phase II Scholars, last year's Phase I Scholars.

Joining us from Idaho is Veronica. Her favorite subjects are math and science. Having arthrogryposis has not stopped Veronica from excelling in school. She is currently in advanced math and hopes to attend the University of Washington and get her Ph.D. in genetic engineering.

Justin joins us from Florida. Justin is legally blind and uses Braille and a computer with voice output to do his homework and attend school. His goal is to become a computer programmer. The only blind person in his school and neighborhood, Justin is interested in meeting other blind teenagers.

Also joining us from the East Coast is Chris. Chris's dyslexia doesn't stop him from pursuing his interests in science and math. His current career plans are in the computer field.

Joshua, from Pennsylvania, has a learning disability and has volunteered for the past three years at the Easter Seals Society. He has an interest in radioactivity and would like to do research in this area.

Karyn, a Washington local, loves math and science, especially biology. Karyn, who has a learning disability, wants to become a pediatric physical therapist working with kids with disabilities. She is excited to meet other students who are motivated like she is.

Also joining us from Washington is Ben. Ben sustained a spinal injury two years ago and is excited to make new friends in the program. He excels in math and looks forward to attending college.

Joining us from up North is Keaton. From Alaska, Keaton just loves science. He said, "It's like candy to me, I can eat it up." Keaton is blind, but that hasn't slowed him down in pursuing his interest is science, backed up with computers.

Sharon really likes biology and math. She lives in Oregon, is self-disciplined, and has a high level of motivation. She has retinitis pigmentosa and is excited to interact with other teens with disabilities.

From Ohio, we welcome Laura. She has Turner's syndrome and enjoys biology and math. She is looking forward to interacting with other students who have similar interests.

Jennifer is leaning toward a career in counseling and psychology. From North Dakota, Jennifer has been blind since birth.

Don joins us from Kansas. Don, who has a learning disability, is interested in technology, social science, and math. He plans to attend college and pursue a Master's degree in either electrical engineering or counseling.

Amanda, who is paraplegic, joins us from Montana. She has special interests in biology, chemistry, and math. She plans to attend college and become a veterinarian or journalist.

Coming from Connecticut is Steven. Deaf since birth, Steven has special interests in math and science. He plans to study these areas in college.

Alexi, who has a hearing impairment, is also from Connecticut. He enjoys chemistry, biology, and physics. He is leaning toward a career in microbiology or nuclear science.

A Seattle local, Minh, loves math and science and wants to become a surgeon, pharmacist, or a business person. Minh has dwarfism and uses a wheelchair. She is interested in meeting teens in the program because she says, "We all learn from others."

Trent is another Seattle local. He likes chemistry and computers, and plans to study sports medicine in college. Trent has motor and visual impairments and is excited about learning about the Internet.

Joining us all the way from Mississippi, Shakethia is partially paralyzed and uses a wheelchair. She loves math and acting, and wants to become a lawyer. Brad also comes from Mississippi. He likes science in general, but especially astronomy and the physical sciences. Brad, a wheelchair user, wants to learn more about computers and the Internet.

Andrew is from Pennsylvania and has been interested in quantum mechanics for many years. He also enjoys learning about mathematics and computers. Andrew has limited use of his left arm due to a stroke.

Michael of Colorado would like to become a professor. His main interests are in geography, linguistics, science, and mathematics. Michael has reduced fine motor skills as a result of spina bifida. He is excited about DO-IT because it will give him the chance to experience life on a university campus.

On behalf of the DO-IT Scholars, Ambassadors, Mentors, and staff, I would like to welcome these new Scholars to the DO-IT community!