Higher Learning: Several Years after EP Magazine Featured the Somozas as Its Cover Story, Anastasia Somoza Has Graduated from Georgetown University and Is Now Headed for the Prestigious London School of Economics. but Not before Sharing a Significant Experience with Others That Just May Make a Big Difference in Their Educational Lives

By Somoza, Anastasia | The Exceptional Parent, March 2012 | Go to article overview

Higher Learning: Several Years after EP Magazine Featured the Somozas as Its Cover Story, Anastasia Somoza Has Graduated from Georgetown University and Is Now Headed for the Prestigious London School of Economics. but Not before Sharing a Significant Experience with Others That Just May Make a Big Difference in Their Educational Lives


Somoza, Anastasia, The Exceptional Parent


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

My name is Anastasia Somoza and I am 28 years old and live in New York City. Since graduating from Georgetown University in 2007, like many college graduates these days, I have been unable to get a job. I have just received a full scholarship to pursue my Masters degree in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I have cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia, and use a motorized wheelchair to get around. I depend 24/7 on an aide who gets me up in the morning, and helps me out during the day.

In New York City, Medicaid pays for my aide. When I went to Georgetown University, through a Medicaid waiver, they paid my aide to help me while I was in school. Throughout my life, my mother has had to fight for me and my twin sister Alba, who is also significantly disabled with cerebral palsy, to get an education. Most of the fighting was with the public schools so we could attend regular classes and not be relegated to special education classes, which at that time were just warehousing students with special needs.

We worked closely with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to try to get a waiver, which would allow me to take my aide with me to London. Literally two days before our flight to London, we got a call denying me the waiver. It is so incredibly frustrating. Medicaid will pay for my aide 24/7 if I sit at home all day in New York watching television, but not if I try to improve my chances of getting a job by getting a masters degree. This is what we hope to change in the future with legislation for students facing the same issues as myself.

After two weeks there, we could not come up with a funding solution for my aide, and decided to come home. We asked my school if I could defer until next year. The day before coming back to New York, the son of a friend of my mother's in London offered us some money to pay a stipend (not a salary) to a volunteer who agreed to travel from New York City and work with me until the end of this term. The course at LSE lasts for two years, but at least this extraordinarily generous offer from these friends allowed me to enroll in classes. The money would be sufficient to keep me in school for the term, which was relatively short, from Oct.1st to December 10th. And, in the meantime, my family and I could start the fundraising. The school agreed to pay my room and academic fees.

The aide arrived in London, while my mom and sister returned to the United States. I started my classes at the LSE. We had literally had an 11th hour reprieve, much to everyone's relief. The first few days were a whirlwind of meeting professors, making friends, and tackling the reading assignments. I also had to check out the neighborhood for supermarkets, accessible coffee shops, how to use the underground and bus system which was time-consuming but great fun.

Sadly, the aide assisting me in London became abusive, and I suspected she was using drugs. This strange behavior started not long after my family left. The situation became dangerous, and she kept me in my room for two days, taking away my phone and computer. The campus dorm room was not accessible, and I literally could not open the door of my room, or the three doors that led to the lobby. Through a friend, I was able to get in touch with my mother in New York, and she flew over the next day. The aide was escorted off campus.

We tried to meet with some of the senior staff at the LSE but it took some time and I realized I would probably not be able to find new people or funding quickly enough in order to finish my term at school. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Higher Learning: Several Years after EP Magazine Featured the Somozas as Its Cover Story, Anastasia Somoza Has Graduated from Georgetown University and Is Now Headed for the Prestigious London School of Economics. but Not before Sharing a Significant Experience with Others That Just May Make a Big Difference in Their Educational Lives
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.