HawCC Graduation Profile – Seth Tucker

Seth Tucker, Liberal Arts Graduate HawCC 2011 Commencement Speaker

What challenges did you have to overcome to bring you where you are at today?

Born 2 ½  months premature, Seth Tucker was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when he was only 3 months old. He grew up in Olalla, Washington. As a child, he was very active and loved sports: baseball and basketball. He had his first surgery at the age of 14, where they had to cut into his legs and have pins attached to them and had them sewn up again.  Although he loved sports, he found his physical body could not keep up with what he loved to do. With cerebral palsy, his muscles were always working. While in high school, Seth’s mom got into a horrible car accident where her physical condition necessitated that she move to warmer weather and that place was Kona, Hawai`i. At this time, Seth was a junior in high school when his mom moved. He ended up living with friends of his teacher. Nearing the completion of his high school career, he was not living with his family and his physical condition worsened.

First Attempts at living a normal life:

He was engaged to be married and moved to Missouri. When the engagement fell through, he was totally crushed. After recovering and deciding that he could only control his response, he decided to move.

Hawai`i Community College was not Seth’s first attempt to going to college. In 2007, Seth enrolled and attempted University of Phoenix online but was unsuccessful. With his cerebral palsy not responding favorably to cold weather conditions, Seth picked up the pieces and moved to warmer weather to Kona, Hawai`i. When he first moved here to Hawaii and started working, he hitch hiked a ride everyday to work at Home Depot in Kona. He made it public to everyone he met that he was going to go to college. In fact one of his motivations to go to college was the experience he received outside of college. With everyone he came into contact and knew of his desire to go to college, many people encouraged him to go for it and to pursue higher education. With this newfound encouragement, he felt like he was given a second chance and did not want to waste it.

When he enrolled at Hawai`i Community College in 2008, he started out small by enrolling in a few credits and majored Liberal Arts.

One of his biggest motivations in going to school was to break the stereotype that people with disabilities are not smart.

How did he fund his education?

Department of Vocational Rehabilitation

Seth was recently accepted in the Honors Program at the University of Arizona.

How do you plan on completing your education there?

By using the same or stricter dedication than he had at HawCC.

What would you like to leave with people?

“That it’s important for people to take the first step.”

Someone said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”





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