It’s our 7th year of providing scholarship awards to hopeful students each year through the 180 Medical College Scholarship Program. Last month, we finally announced the 7 scholarship recipients of 2019. We plan to individually honor each scholarship recipient by introducing them one by one on our blog in the coming months, so keep watch for the latest updates!
As September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, we’d love for you to meet Ben, who lives with a spinal cord injury while going to school for his Ph.D.
A Motorcycle Accident Changes the Course of Ben’s Life
Ben has lived as a complete T5/T6 paraplegic due to a motorcycle accident 13 years ago. Back in September of 2006, at the time of his accident, Ben was working as a Program Director and Outdoor Education Instructor at a local camp.
“My injury affected my job in a lot of ways,” Ben says,” and I was not as free to be able to teach from my wheelchair in an outdoor setting.” While the camp went all out in accommodating for Ben and his new wheelchair, he felt it was time for a change. He was ready to make a difference for his community in a new way.
Just a few years later, Ben was back in school and pursuing a new career path: teaching. Through an adaptive sports facility in Utah, he began teaching adaptive skiing and biking. Plus, he began leading outreach events through the National Ability Center.
Teaching really lit a new inspired fire within Ben. Next, he went on to receive his Master’s degree in Teaching. Due in part to his experience and passion for sports and the outdoors, Ben now plans to continue his studies at Grand Canyon University, where he is pursuing his Ph.D. in General Psychology with an emphasis in Performance Psychology.
Staying Active with a Spinal Cord Injury
After his accident, Ben never gave up. He was determined to “get back to activity and pursuing life to the fullest,” he says. He was injured in September, and by May of the following year, he was competing in his first half-marathon in a racing wheelchair.
To date, Ben has been in 27 full marathons and multiple half-marathons and other races. Next, he decided to take up the new challenge of a triathlon. “I was able to finish two half-distance triathlons of 70.3 miles and then finished a full Ironman of 140.6 miles.”
Plenty of new challenges are ahead as he works toward his Ph.D. at school. In addition, Ben plans to compete in many more marathons to come, so he stays in shape.
In his spare time, he is rekindling his artistic abilities with pottery and art classes. “I have been able to accomplish a lot because I like to set goals and finish those goals,” Ben says.
We’re beyond honored to be able to support Ben’s academic pursuits. It’s clear that Ben will be active in positively impacting many lives in the future, and we’re positive that any goals Ben chooses to set, he will achieve. Congratulations and best of luck to you, Ben!
About 180 Medical’s Scholarship Program
You can find out more about our annual scholarship award, including eligibility details, at www.180medical.com/scholarships.
While we are not currently accepting applications, the 2020 application period will be open soon on January 1st of 2020. You can stay up-to-date with the latest scholarship news and more by following us on Facebook or signing up for our monthly newsletters.