When Benjamin Patrick Johnson was born prematurely 20 years ago with Cerebral Palsy, doctors did not expect him to thrive. They were right he didn't thrive, he excelled. Throughout his entire life to date, and the many surgeries, therapy sessions, casts, braces, doctor visits, equipment changes, support team members, caregivers, and time it takes to do tasks others take for granted, Ben has always figured out how to overcome every obstacle, and be an inspiration to all who are blessed to know and interact with him.
Life has presented him with many challenges, but he has taken each one and turned them into a launching pad for his next level of success. Ben's grit, strength, perseverance. endurance, determination, resilience and charming smile, provide an amazing template of how to overcome almost anything.
Benjamin has persevered. Although he didn’t say his first word until he was 3 years old, and he crawled instead of walking for years, he was able to start elementary school on time and graduated from Sacramento New Technology High School in 2015.
Some highlights of his school years were: being elected as a class officer, crowned as the Junior Class Prince at the prom, and being presented the Outstanding Senior Project Award. Although he had never swum or rode a bike, he decided to do a Triathlon for his Senior Project. It wasn't easy, but with focus, a will to suceed, not giving up on himself, and pushing through his physical disabiities, he achieved his goal, and even inspired others to prepare to compete in future triathlons.
He has just completed his second year at American River College in Sacramento, with a major in Computer Science.
In mid-August 2017, a former teacher informed him of UCLA Extension Pathway Program for students with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities. The two-year certificate program, offers a blend of educational, social, and vocational experience, while learning practical life skills. Pathway students attend classes and participate with UCLA students in the many social, recreational, and cultural activities of a major university. Students eat meals on campus, and live in an off-campus apartment, where they house with others who have similar disabilities.
During the two year program, students learn to be as independent as possible, by maintaining their apartments, paying bills, coordinating their transportation needs, household chores, scheduling their appointments, completing internships, attending classes, working, and being accountable overall.
This program is the perfect next step for Ben, and will provide him with the best possible chance for living a productive and independent life.
Your assistance is needed because: the cost is too high for his single mother to cover, he was the last student to learn of and then be accepted into the program for the fall semester, there was only $3,725 in scholarship funds remaining and available or his use, UCLA does not accept student loans on this program because they do not want the students with disabilities to be burdened with debt upon completing the program.
Following are the costs for the two year program designed to provide Benjamin with all the help and support needed to excel at UCLA extension, and in life:
Meal Plan 13,600
Sub - Total $77,280
Scholarship -3 ,725
Two Year Need $73,555
Annual Need $38,672
Quarter ly Need $10,850
Contributions are needed by September 14, 2017 , in order for Benjamin to be able to enroll for the Fall Quarter.
Benjamin Johnson, his Mother, and all who are rooting for his success, will be grateful beyond words at your kind and gracious generosity. A quarterly update of Ben's progress through the program, will be provided.
Thank you for responding to this urgent, whole life enhancing, and time sensitive need.
Following is a link for the UCLA Extension Pathway Program:
With a grateful heart, thank you!!!
A Proud Aunt of:
Benjamin Patrick Johnson
- Sellissa Brown
- Patrice Jackson
- Josh Norris
Organizer and beneficiary
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