Officer Ray Shappa's UTSA Fund

My name is Ray Shappa and I'm asking for your support with tuition at The University of Texas at San Antonio. I am a disabled police officer injured in the line of duty.

I was a patrol officer for the City of Smithville, Texas. In July of 2002, while directing traffic for a multi-alarm structural fire, I was struck by a drunk driver. I suffered catastrophic injuries resulting in the loss of my left leg above the knee, detachment PCL from my right knee, and fractures to my pelvis. My injuries ultimately ended my career in law enforcement.

It's been a long road of physical pain, addiction to pain medication, depression and financial difficulties resulting in bankruptcy. I grew bitter and angry. Pain from my injuries prevented me from walking with prosthesis. I lost my sense of self, my sense of purpose and I didn't recognize my own face in the mirror. 

Through it all, my wife Rosie bared the entire financial burden while I accepted the role of stay at home dad. In 2009, our youngest started kindergarten freeing my days.

Because I was injured in the line of duty, I qualified for the Texas Disabled Peace Officer Exception. That law allows state universities the ability to exempt disabled officers from paying tuition. Northwest Vista College in San Antonio is a college that participates. 

I enrolled in NWVC for the spring semester of 2010. I felt invigorated with a sense of purpose and began to dream of the future possibilities. 

With hard work and determination I graduated with an associate’s degree in Applied Science in Information Assurance and Security in May of 2014. I graduated magna cum laude with a 3.85 GPA. 

I applied and gained admission to the University of Texas at San Antonio. My elation quickly turned to dismay when I learned UTSA opted not to accept the Texas Disabled Peace Officer Exception.

UTSA was gracious and generous enough to award a grant to help with tuition. Unfortunately, the grant does not cover the total cost of tuition, books, parking and other unforeseen expenses. 

Thankfully, the 100 Club of Central Texas and the 100 Club of San Antonio assisted with all remaining expenses. 

Although my first two semesters have been stressful and at times difficult, I am determined. UTSA is one of the top Infrastructure Assurance and Security schools in the nation.  

Returning to school has been the best thing for my mental health. The hardest part of my recovery was acceptance. Without acceptance I could not move forward, but acceptance is the antithesis of my nature. The very reason I am here today is because I refuse to accept the way things are. I want to improve my standing in all aspects of my life. 

I do this for my wife, my children and so we may regain our financial independence. 

 

We thank you in advance for your support and contributions, God bless.





 

 

 

 
 

 

Organizer

Raymond Shappa 
Organizer
San Antonio, TX

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