Attorney Michael D. Waks is pleased to award $1,000 to Kristi Alarcon, the winner of the 3rd Annual Michael D. Waks Essay Contest for students living with a disability. Disabled high school seniors and undergraduates attending a 2 or 4-year accredited university or college, were invited to participate.
Kristi Alarcon of Long Beach has been selected the winner of the 2018 Essay Contest. Kristi is a third-year student at California State University, Long Beach, studying journalism and communication studies. Kristi has struggled with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for the past nine years, maintaining a positive attitude as she’s worked towards completing her education.
“I have coped with this mental disability and see it as something that makes myself far more ‘abled,’ than disabled. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if it wasn’t for this disorder. It has helped me grow and is something that has challenged my limits to make me into a stronger person. It is something that I have, but it doesn’t define who I am.”
Students were asked to write a story or essay on the following theme:
What educational challenges have you experienced due to your disability? How have you overcome these challenges in the past and how will you overcome them in the future? How has your disability influenced your choice of study and career?
The theme of the essay contest reflects the profound respect and admiration attorney Waks has gained watching clients with disabilities overcome educational obstacles.
“I was truly inspired reading Kristi’s essay and how she eventually recognized the depth of her illness and the effort she employed to deal with it. Her level of OCD was severe and her ability to get it under control and prosper is a remarkable achievement,” said Michael D. Waks, Long Beach personal injury attorney.
This is third year that the Essay Contest has been held and we were overwhelmed with number of applicants and their stories of strength and courage. Thanks to all who participated and please be sure to check back next year for the 2019 contest.
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