Student

Kathleen Sweeney “I vacillate between being overwhelmed with joy, and focusing on my problems. But SMC has given me the focus I need to do what I must.”

“I was the sales and marketing director for a major local restaurant, and I took it for granted that I’d always be razor sharp,” says Kathleen Sweeney of her “former life.” But that life came to a screeching halt in a car wreck along PCH. “I ended up with a severe concussion that affected my brain. I guess the ‘wiring’ was really shaken up, and over three years I’ve gained weight and had some muscle atrophy.” But when Kathleen walked into the Acquired Brain Injury Program at SMC’s Center for Students with Disabilities, that “razor sharp” brain of hers began to reassert itself.

“I enrolled in all the classes Sandy Burnett suggested, and I’m getting all the medical and rehabilitation help I need,” says Kathleen. “It was actually a music theory class that helped me identify the problems I had with perception, learning disability, and information processing. And swimming has helped me get physically back into the swing of things.” But to bring her talented mind distinctly back “online,” Kathleen has enlisted the formidable technology that SMC provides its students with disabilities.

“The learning tools available at the High Tech Training Center and the library are fantastic resources. I’ve enrolled in adaptive computer classes in graphic design, and my first client loved the home page I created for him. This is a whole new career for me,” Kathleen continues. “And I just love SMC! I reflect on all that I’ve learned since coming here, and I see that I’ve made quantum leaps. I’ve found ways at this college to transcend my limitations. I’ve tasted new possibilities for a new life. And I have nothing but high hopes for the future.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.