This summer, the Law Office of Michael D. Waks, held the second annual Essay Contest for students living with a disability. Disabled Los Angeles County high school seniors and students attending an accredited college or university, competed for the $1,000 scholarship. Participants wrote about the educational challenges presented by their disability, how they overcame them, and how their disability has influenced their educational and career path.
The theme of the essay contest reflects the profound respect and admiration attorney Waks has gained watching clients with disabilities overcome educational obstacles. “As a Long Beach personal injury attorney for over 30 years, I have represented young clients living with disabilities caused by auto accidents. I have seen how difficult it can be for them to move forward with their education. For this reason, I established the Michael D. Waks Essay Contest to help disabled students reach their educational goals.”
Meet Eduardo Rodriguez, the 2017 Michael D. Waks Essay Contest Winner
Congratulations to Eduardo Rodriguez of Westwood CA, this year’s contest winner Eduardo was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at birth and due to this and other complications was not expected to live. He says defying the odds has been the theme of his life. He is now starting his senior year in high school where he has maintained a 3.9 GPA and has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll for the last three years.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a saying Eduardo has always felt applied to him. He says “At first glance, one may see a disabled person in a wheelchair, but, what the wheelchair doesn’t tell you is that I have a wicked sense of humor, that I am affectionate and smart. I know by the way people look at me that they perceive me as “special”, judging long before they know me. But the truth of the matter is that I am like everyone else. I am just a normal teenager”.
Eduardo has exceeded expectations his whole life and has excelled at Advanced Placement courses in high school and is ranked 26th amongst 577 seniors. His dream is to get a college education and continue to defy odds.
After personally congratulating him on his winning essay, Attorney Waks said, “It is my honor and privilege to name Eduardo Rodriguez as the winner of the Law Office of Michael D. Waks Essay Contest. His essay was truly inspirational. Cerebral Palsy is a devastating condition for most people but Eduardo has demonstrated both tremendous power and force of will to deal with and overcome his disability. The sky is the limit for him.”
Please read the winning essay Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover here.
About the Michael D. Waks Essay Contest
The Michael D. Waks Essay Contest is an annual scholarship opportunity for college students living with a disability. Information on next year’s contest will be posted on michaelwaks.com on this page. For more information contact: [email protected].
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