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“Outstanding Academic Persistence Award” to be Given During Special Ceremony to Soon-to-Be HCC Graduate Who Defies Cerebral Palsy

May 4, 2012

(Columbia, MD -- Every once in a while a student impacts a community in extraordinary ways; soon-to-be graduate Sterling Saunders, age 33, is such a student. Born with cerebral palsy, it was never expected that Sterling would go to college. Sterling defied all odds, however, and proved everyone wrong. Not only did he enroll at Howard Community College (HCC), but he excelled and completed all of his assignments on the college-level. An avid sports enthusiast, Sterling has been involved in Special Olympics and continues to give back to his high school alma mater, Hammond High School located in Columbia, Maryland, by assisting in coaching the basketball team. He makes sure that his college schedule is free every basketball season so he can be sure to help the high school players. Sterling will receive the “Outstanding Academic Persistence Award,” during a special Student Support Services Award Ceremony held on HCC’s campus on Wednesday, May 2, 12 – 2 p.m., in Duncan Hall (Kittleman Room).

Sterling, a general studies major, will earn the award due to his consistent academic progress, leadership in the community, role model status to other students, and his ability to balance life challenges. Upon his graduation from HCC with an associate’s degree on Tuesday, May 22, Sterling plans to pursue a career in the field of business or sports.

HCC’s Student Support Services Program is in its 31st year and is funded by a TRIO grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The Student Support Services grant serves 225 HCC students annually.

About HCC
Howard Community College (HCC) is a publicly funded two-year community college serving the educational needs of the citizens and employers in Howard County, Maryland since 1970. With its slogan, “You Can Get There from Here,” the college has forged a variety of partnerships to offer career and transfer programs to nearly 30,000 students annually at its main campus in Columbia, the Ecker Business Training Center, and Laurel College Center. Located midway between two major metropolitan areas, Washington DC and Baltimore, MD, Howard Community College is an affordable, community-based institution that has long been recognized for its ability to inspire learning, and the lifelong pursuit of personal and professional goals. Among its many awards is the prestigious U.S. Senate Productivity Award for organizational performance excellence.