Quashawn Sterling, LSC-Tomball

Winning Essay:

My Lone Star College experience has influenced me in several ways, but there's one way in particular that I'll always keep with me no matter what. I was influenced before I was even a student here.

Just coming to explore the campus alone made a positive influence on me. When I first arrived onto the campus, I noticed a young girl in a wheelchair going up the "wheelchair accessible" sidewalk to enter the building. She had her backpack on the back handles of the wheelchair. Apparently one of the small zippers on the backpack was slightly unzipped and some money fell out onto the ground, and the young lady kept on rolling, without a clue. There was only about a second that had gone by and a tall gentleman rushed over to pick up the money and put it back in the backpack, making sure it was all the way zipped up. I was about 10 feet away from the whole scene. Therefore, had he not rushed over so swiftly, I surely would have without a doubt. That was just the first encounter.

The second encounter was once I had gotten into the building, there was a young man in a wheelchair coming out of the restroom into a very crowded hallway. With the hallway being full of majority 18-26 year old students that are excited, talkative, engaged in several conversations, on their cell phones, and just totally not paying attention, it was even more difficult for the young man to get out of the restroom. Suddenly, a female faculty member appeared and told everyone politely, but assertively to clear the hall so the young man could get through there. Immediately, everyone cleared the hallway as if an 18 wheeler was bursting through the walls. The young man thanked her and went down the hallway with ease. I thought this was awesome! I am unsure of whom this woman that immediately cleared the hallway was, but she had on brown slacks, a tan button up dress shirt, and wore a nametag which I could not see due to my distance. By this point so many feelings of joy have come over me. This really touched me because I have a disabled aunt that I've helped take care of for 12 years now. She has advanced cerebral palsy and scoliosis, therefore placing her into a wheelchair.

My encounters at Lone Star College influenced me by not only seeing the wonderful helping hands there, but by also offering so many handicapped/wheelchair accessible areas catering to the disabled. Every restroom at this school has a button on the outside and inside for someone to press that will automatically open the doors, also the doors to exit and enter are all accessible by a simple push of a button. I've explored other schools and saw nothing as nice as this, or the elevators would always be out of service, making it difficult for wheelchairs, but not at Lone Star College. This school did an excellent job with making sure disabled people could get around easier.

With taking care of a disabled person for 12 years, I know exactly how frustrating it is to go someplace that is not wheel chair accessible. I would like to open my own business one day, preferably 2 businesses. Considering that my major is nursing, I would like to open my own assisted living facility. I am also a licensed cosmetologist and would like to open my own hair salon. The assisted living facility of course would be wheelchair accessible. But no one ever thinks about making a hair salon wheelchair accessible. I'm sure there's several individuals out there that would like to come get there hair washed and styled, but don't for the fear of feeling like a burden. It would be amazing to have all sinks/shampoo stations and work stations wheelchair accessible, making it a comfortable experience for them to have.

I would like to sincerely from the bottom of my heart thank Lone Star College for opening my eyes to this idea.

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