From the ICU to the stage - graduate with disability receives diploma

Published: May. 11, 2019 at 10:21 PM CDT
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As of Saturday we welcome 2,677 graduates to the WKU Alumni family.

It was a special day for the graduates and their families, but it was more than just an accomplishment for one graduate in particular.

"It's a mixed feeling of emotion and, you know, accomplishment considering where I started from as a disabled child who was pretty much told from the get that she would be on the mentality of a child, to now being a college graduate. I've come a long way and I'm very honored and proud," said Elizabeth Roberts, graduated Cum Laude.

Elizabeth was once in the Intensive Care Unit with disabilities that doctors told her would effect her for the rest of her life.

It was a tough journey, but a rewarding one. Elizabeth received her Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies and graduated Cum Laude.

"I don't know if I have the words to describe all of her hard work over the years and her determination and to see this dream of hers finally happen, I mean, what parent wouldn't be just thrilled?" said Kim Roberts, Elizabeth's mother.

"My parents obviously have made so many sacrifices over the years and my faith and God obviously, you know, he has always been there for me whatever trials I go through, whatever hoops I've gotta jump through he's always saying, "You can do this, nothing is going to stop you," And I wouldn't be here if it weren't for my parents or God," Elizabeth said.

"She did most of the work, we were just her cheering squad back here," said her mother.

"I cried a little bit when I saw her walk across the stage, but I sobbed when the whole audience clapped for her and that was pretty special," said Susan Roberts-Strasinger, Elizabeth's aunt. "She's an inspiration to me, she's an inspiration to my daughter."

"I know she's an inspiration to me and her father, I'm sure, that she just keeps doing this and keeps surprising us all," Kim said.

"I would definitely not say that I'm an inspiration, but I'm definitely one of those people that other disabled kids can probably look up to and see that, you know, just because you have a disability, whether it's physical, mental, or behavioral, you know, you can accomplish anything," Elizabeth said.

"I've always thought she could, always thought she could," said Kim.

"I'm done people! I graduated and you know what, to those doctors who said I couldn't, in your face and we're done," Elizabeth said.

"I don't think you could have a more topper family than this family," said her aunt.