Quadriplegics overcome obstacles to receive their college diplom - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Quadriplegics overcome obstacles to receive their college diplomas

It's taken them years to defy the odds, overcoming physical challenges many of us take for granted. Source: WLBT It's taken them years to defy the odds, overcoming physical challenges many of us take for granted. Source: WLBT
FLOWOOD, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Graduates overcome many obstacles when working toward their degrees, but some more so than others.

That is the case for two quadriplegics who will soon be graduating college.

It's taken them years to defy the odds, overcoming physical challenges many of us take for granted.

Andrew Thomas and Adam Booker were injured in separate car accidents that left them quadriplegics.

They live at Methodist Specialty Care Center in Flowood.

Another thing they have in common is they are graduating in May after overcoming major barriers.

Thomas will receive an Associates Degree in Communications from Hinds Community College.

"I got hurt when I was in the 10th grade so I was determined to go back and get my G.E.D. by any means necessary, and I enrolled in college that following year," said Thomas.

He said he unknowingly was riding with a drunk driver in January of 2011 when the car hit a ditch, flipped twice and plowed into several trees.

The McCool native received his G.E.D. in 2013  and enrolled in Hinds in August of 2014. 

He said there were some rough days during the process, but he didn't give up and people in his life wouldn't let him.

Booker graduates from Millsaps with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. 

He was driving home from work in 2006 when a car hit his passenger's side, and his neck was broken.

"I had completed one year of college after graduating from high school," said Booker. "So I knew I always wanted to complete a degree in some field and psychology kinda was always in the back of my mind."

The 31-year-old wants to be a counselor. 

It took him five years to gather the courage to pursue his degree and after six years, his hard work has paid off.

"It's been hard doing the work," added Booker. "But it's doable and I did it, and I'm proud of myself.".

25-year-old Thomas wants to be a motivational speaker and travel the world, sharing his story of perseverance and determination.

"A lot of days it was tough. A lot of days I went to school in pain, the rain," said Thomas. "I got soaking wet, but it didn't stop me from getting this diploma".

Thomas graduates May 11 and is applying to colleges for his Bachelor's Degree.

Booker's commencement is May 5. He plans to get his Master's Degree and wants to work at the V.A.

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