Life-altering trauma can happen at any moment, but it is how you overcome trauma that really matters. This is true for Veronica Fox, an Atlanta Metropolitan State College student who is working to get her degree in social work. In 2013, she was badly injured in a car accident that resulted in her being paralyzed. Although it took her a while to recover, she doesn’t use her disability as an excuse. She currently serves as Ms. Wheelchair Georgia, USA. Fox has many goals of pursuing a career as a social worker to help others with spinal cord injuries.
How did you determine your career path?
Since my car accident, I’ve noticed that the reason why so many social workers are unable to help individuals with disabilities, is that they don’t understand our issues. And, that doesn’t mean that they don’t know what they’re doing. A lot of them just don’t understand. We need more people who understand that we’re not just complaining; we need help.
What drew you to Atlanta Metropolitan State College?
Originally, the close proximity to my home drew me to AMSC, but after attending orientation, the atmosphere, the intimate class sizes, and the welcoming committee hooked me.
What are plans to gain experience in your field while still a student?
I plan to obtain an internship within the Independent Care Waiver Program (ICWP), which is my current home health care program. It is through this program that I got my own social worker. I believe I can do great things with them.
What are your long-term career goals?
After obtaining my associate’s degree, I plan to secure a job within my field and then return to school to obtain my bachelor’s degree.
As a nontraditional student, how do you manage distractions?
I lock myself in my room and turn my phone on silent. But seriously, I remind myself of why I chose to return to school in the first place.
How do you stay motivated?
I have a star calendar. I accumulate stars for everything I do in a timely manner. At the end of the week, I add them up and reward myself for a job well done.
If there was one thing in the world that you could change, what would it be?
I’d change the perspectives of individuals with disabilities. We’re not lazy and faking and we’re not all bonded to our homes just because of a disability. We have dreams, goals and ambitions just like everyone else and they can’t get accomplished by sitting around at home.
What have you learned from this experience?
I’ve learned that life is short and unpredictable. You must live in the moment. Obstacles are a way of life and it’s best to embrace them and make them your own rather than using them as excuses.