UA student with Cerebral Palsy Graduates Saturday

By Kelvin Reynolds

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - This weekend 23-year-old Jake Craft becomes one of the few people who can say they graduated from the University of Alabama twice. He graduated the university's RISE program when he was 5-years-old. This weekend, he will get a diploma for a degree in early childhood education.

Craft is currently a teaching assistant at RISE. It's a 36-year-old program that helps kids with physical disabilities overcome them. Jake was born with cerebral palsy. After finishing the program, he came back as a volunteer when he turned 16.

Craft says, "I know what these students are going through and I'm hoping that as a teacher I'm able to show them that through perseverance you can achieve anything."
Lisa Pike, a speech pathologist at RISE says, "I think Jake is the perfect example. He's had difficulties in life. This had not been easy. College is not easy for anybody, we're proud of the fact he's stuck with it."

Jake is especially proud going from a RISE student, to a volunteer, to a college graduate and now an inspiration to kids overcoming disabilities.

After graduation, Jake wants to get his master's degree.

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