Monday, June 20, 2005

Desiree Hawks

I probably won't get many chances to mention my interest in NHRA drag racing on a disability blog, but this scholarship announcement caught my eye. The winner of the Sears Craftsman $25,000 scholarship (intended for high school seniors planning a career in automotive/industrial technology, marketing, or manufacturing) is a California girl this year, Desiree Hawks. I sort of expected a story that highlighted her gender--most of the 650 applicants were boys. But I didn't expect the story to highlight her status as a student with a learning disability, too: "Not everyone has the same abilities. We are all good at different things, which makes us the individual people we are," Ms. Hawks explains in her statement. The dreaded word "overcame" appears in the article, and she sounds a bit Miss America in her goal to "show kids with and without learning disabilities that education is available in many fields," but overall, it's nice to see a young woman so open to breaking all kinds of stereotypes; and nice to see her recognized with a big scholarship, too.