Tuesday, May 20, 2014
During her keynote speech on May 14 Janice Jolly told a story about a girl – one whom she holds “near and dear” to her heart.
This little girls’ parents met, married and had two children – a son and then a baby girl. This baby girl was diagnosed with a virus – and doctors told her parents that she was not going to learn to walk.
The little girl beat those odds and was well enough to start school years later – to her reluctance. She told her mom how much she did not want to go to school but her mom told her, “You are going to be fine. You are strong.”
This little girl started school under the care of a caring, nurturing teacher and grew to be active in high school. Jolly said this girl was not a particularly good student, was not part of any athletics but she did other activities, like becoming the editor for the school yearbook.
After enduring a series of obstacles as a young woman, she later got married, had a son and had a full-time job working in the school system.
Then she was diagnosed with Diabetes, and had to monitor the amount of sweets she ate. On top that, despite eating shellfish her whole life, she also learned she was allergic to shellfish and could not eat that anymore either.
Each major ailment in her life had come as a punch in the gut but then this woman was hit with what Jolly called “the big D”: divorce, after 40 years of marriage.
However, here is Jolly a year later and she knows “she can do it.”
Jolly works for Innovative Career Education, LLC and is part of the Summerville Mayor’s Committee. She was asked to speak at the 24th annual awards luncheon for the SMC On Employment of People with Disabilities. The event was held at Holiday Inn Express in Summerville.
Jolly called it a “celebration” for the achievements of area students – all of whom excel in school despite learning disabilities. Students earned scholarships through an online application process.
After her keynote address Jolly told the Journal Scene that her church is the only other group of people to have been told her story.
“I felt it was going to be very difficult,” she said, “but it was very easy after I got started.”
Robert Pratt, master of ceremonies, gave out a series of awards, including scholarships for different students in the Summerville area.
The awards are as follows:
Large Employer of the Year – Roper St. Francis Health Care
Large Local Employer – Verizon
Medium Employer – Urban Electric
Small Employer – Stacks Nursery
Employee of the Year – Tabitha Colburn, assistant produce manager at Bi-Lo (Sangaree)
Coco Boyd Award – Peggy Dingle, SHS adult support/assistant
Student of the Year – Archimedes Bateman, Summerville High
Alex Rosche Memorial Scholarship $1,000 – Raveen Lawrence, Fort Dorchester High
William W. Fetzer Scholarship “The Bill” $1,000 – Breanna Bess, Armstrong Atlantic State University
Dr. Erbert Cicenia Scholarship “The Bert” $1,000 – Joshua Mach, Charleston Southern University
Summerville Rotary Scholarship $1,500 – Amanda Walters, Charleston Southern University
Summerville Mayor’s Committee Scholarship $2,000 – Diamond Whitehead, Fort Dorchester High
Berlin G. Myers Scholarship $2,500 – Emily Anne Gluck – Fort Dorchester High