Your defining choice is one that you make every day. It's the choice to work harder than the person next to you, to fight for an ambition that seems impossible, to chase after a goal with persistent determination. Choosing a university is more than just a beautiful location or a degree program, it's about finding a supportive community that recognizes your potential and a program that will help you achieve your future.
On a recent Wednesday evening, patients reviewed their progress since the last clinic before being treated. A cancer survivor with ambulatory challenges was patiently encouraged through a series of exercises, along with plenty of smiles upon completion of each task. Nearby, Swain County resident Delphia Birchfield watched a relative she had transported to the clinic begin his session. “This is an answered prayer,” Birchfield said. “Without it, I don’t know what kind of condition he’d be in right now, how he could cope. And he looks forward to it. You can see it with his interaction with the students. He’s treated as an individual, gets a level of attention and has made real progress. This clinic is a blessing.”
Jennifer Le’An Yoe-Gaddy, a graduate student receiving her master’s degree in social work, was the featured speaker for the 2018 Graduate School Commencement on Friday, May 11. The Weaverville resident spoke to her fellow graduating students about the circuitous route she took in earning her associate and bachelor’s degrees and said she had intended to speak to them about how to persevere in life. “We all have our stories,” she said. “Our stories, and the stories of all the graduates in this room, are certainly all unique, but undoubtedly we share one vital characteristic. We have grit, and it is your possession of this characteristic that is worthy of a sincere congratulations this evening.”