CDL Connection Student Blog: Paralyzed Student Keith Gurgui Working Toward Bachelor's Degree

By Diana Hawkins, academic advisor, Center for Distance Learning

September 21, 2012

In August 2009, Keith Gurgui had a lot to be thankful for. Varsity Crew Team Captain. Kingston High School Graduate. Active lifeguard. Headed to Philadelphia University in the fall to begin his freshman year of college. To celebrate, Gurgui’s parents took him on vacation to Bethany Beach, Md. As he went for his final dive of the day, a rough ocean tide gripped Gurgui and changed his life forever.

Now 2012, with a home elevator, handicap-accessible vehicle, daily OT and PT, Gurgui is paralyzed from the neck down. Still, Gurgui said, he “has a lot to be thankful for.”

“Through my accident and rehabilitation I have learned firsthand about the complex lives individuals with disabilities are forced to live, and the programs out there to support them. One of my goals is to advocate for the issues and concerns of this group to encourage support, equality, and research among politicians, doctors, scientists, social service organizations, schools, and anyone else who can make life easier for those with disabilities,” said Gurgui, who is working to earn his Bachelor of Science in Communication and Political Science.

Other News

Health and Wellness Initiative: Programming for Adult Students! by Stephanie Schiffer, research assistant, Office of Collegewide Student Services

New CDL Course: "Imagining Justice in Our Diverse World" by Janet Shideler, associate dean, Center for Distance Learning

Next Steps for New Graduates by Jennifer Ward, student, School for Graduate Studies, Metropolitan Center-Manhattan Unit

Did You Know...

The new online program for students called Living Lean is available at no additional charge. Visit the Student Wellness Assistance Program site to learn more.

Student/Alumni Profile

Meet Michael Alston, by Helen Edelman, manager, Exchange

Article Contributors
  • Helen Edelman
  • Jessica Estremera
  • Kameylah A. Hakim
  • Diana Hawkins
  • David Henahan
  • Thomas Kerr
  • Vickie Moller
  • Stephanie Schiffer
  • Janet Shideler
  • Jennifer Ward

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