« Ten states to get NCLB waivers | Main | Mayor, Alonso do agree on one part of school construction plan »

February 10, 2012

HCC Part of Student Advocacy Day

By Joe Burris

Three years ago, Ben Fischer suffered a traumatic brain injury from a car accident that left him with slow cognitive skills. The Howard Community College student said that at the time doctors were uncertain whether he would to return to a traditional learning environment.

But Fischer battled back from the accident, and now advocates for students with disabilities. Earlier this week, he joined hundreds of community college students across the state to petition state lawmakers to boost funding to two-year schools.

The event is part of the annual Student Advocacy Day, which features speeches from student leaders, state lawmakers and community college presidents. Students also meet with their respective state delegates and senators.

“Primarily I am standing up for disabled students who are going to college at this point and time,” said Fischer, who was among 15 HCC students who attended Student Advocacy Day. “It takes me longer to understand things than those who don’t have these deficits that I do.”

Fischer commended HCC’s disabilities program and said that its Learning Assistance Center helps students with disabilities better understand class instruction.

“The best way for people to understand what another person is going through is to really relate to that person first and explain your story that, 'I used to be a normal student and I used to just go to college, just take the classes, and that’s all I really cared about at that point in time,'" said Fischer. "But now I actually care about people who are disabled, who are actually going through harder times.”

Joining Fischer on the trip from HCC was HCC student Jennie Wang, a single mother, who said that she chose HCC in part because of the opportunities the school’s Children’s Learning Center provides for her preschool daughter.

“It’s not a daycare; it’s a mini school for babies and kids,” said Wang, who added that the learning center enables her to concentrate on her own studies. “They teach the kids educational stuff every day. I have the peace of mind that my daughter is not playing around not learning anything.”
HCC students left campus at around 7 a.m., for a one-hour, 15-minute time slot with lawmakers at 11 a.m.

HCC student Zuri Chavers said that all students met with the lawmakers in groups of three. The son of a single parent who is launching his own business and has done an internship for Walt Disney World, he said that he conveyed to the lawmakers how much the college experience has aided his career endeavors.

“It was definitely a great experience for me,” said Chavers, “and a good chance for me to get insight from senators and delegates on what’s going on in government.”


Posted by Jennifer Badie at 6:45 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Howard County

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "i" in the field below:

2011 Valedictorians and Salutatorians
Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Education news
• InsideEd's glossary of education jargon

School closings and delays's school closings database is designed to provide up-to-date, easy-to-access information in the event of inclement weather.

Find out if your school is participating and sign up for e-mail alerts.
Sign up for FREE local news alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local news text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Spread the word about InsideEd
Blog updates
Recent updates to news blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Stay connected