The Inspiring 24-Year Road to a Diploma

May 13, 2017May 13, 2017


Stephanie Miner started her journey to earn her diploma in 1993. Stephanie was part of the Calhoun Community College Class of 2017.  

"I can't believe it's actually here," Stephanie said.

Stephanie Miner has Cerebral Palsy and has been taking only a class or two at a time. "The tortoise and the hare mentality," she says. 

Despite all of the obstacles she has had to overcome, Stephanie has always said, "Just because my legs don't work, doesn't mean my mind doesn't work."

Stephanie's motivation is not what most would believe, and is quite disheartening. 

“Somebody at vocational rehabilitation told me I couldn’t and I wanted to show them that I could,” Miner said.


Her parents have helped Stephanie along this journey and have driven her and her service dog to the campus daily. 

Stephanie's service dog, Astro, has helped her in more ways than one would think. “He helps me push the buttons on the doors here at the college and he helps me pick things up," she said.

Even when classes got hard and she could have easily quit, Stephanie persevered. She said there was nothing that could have kept her and Astro from crossing that stage.

It was very emotional as the woman who was told she couldn't, crossed the platform with her diploma in hand, hearing all of the applause and cheers.  (Watch a video of the ceremony here.)

“Just don’t give up, even if it’s a little hard, don’t give up," Miner said.

Stephanie Miner is now in the pursuit of finding a job. She wants to go into disability advocacy.

The ceremony on Friday was also a graduation day in a sense, for Astro- Miner's service dog. He is now 12 years old and in the service dog world, he is ready to retire. 

The family has started a GoFundMe page for those who would like to be a part of raising the funds for the expenses. 

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