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Disabled Filipino student wins US award

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MANILA, Philippines - Despite being wheelchair-bound, a disabled Filipino student in the United States showed that he can still be an achiever.

In an e-mail, Nila Villa-San Pedro of Washington, New Jersey told GMANews.TV the story of her 18-year-old nephew Bryan Villa who, despite having a disability, still excelled in his studies and was even recognized for his achievements.

“I thought it would be nice to share the achievement of a young Pinoy with muscular dystrophy [whose] disease hasn’t stopped him from winning an award," said San Pedro.

Muscular dystrophy is a group of hereditary diseases that weakens the muscles that move the human body.

Villa won in the technology category of the Council for Exceptional Children’s “Yes I can! Awards."

“I just want to share how happy [and] proud we are [of] our nephew Bryan. Isa lang itong katunayan na ang Pinoy ay may anking katangian … kahit na may kapansanan," said San Pedro.

[I just want to share how happy and proud we are [of] our nephew Bryan. This is proof that Filipinos can still excel despite having disabilities.]

The CEC annually honors 27 students with disabilities who have excelled in specific categories. The awarding ceremony for this year will take place in Seattle on April 3.

Anna Baker, CEC public relations associate, told the Jersey Journal that the CEC honors children who have gone “above and beyond."

“The ‘Yes I Can!’ Awards were developed to honor students with disabilities who have achieved great things. Bryan exemplifies the spirit of these awards with his hard work and perseverance," said CEC President Kathleen Puckett in the report.

When Villa was born in the Philippines, he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. His family moved to the United States when he was six years old.

Two years later, he started studying at A. Harry Moore School in New Jersey.

“I have learned how to speak out for what I need to complete my goals and become a mature young man," said Villa in an autobiographical statement.

He reportedly plans to attend the Hudson County Community College and major in studio art after finishing high school.

After two years, Villa said he wants to transfer to New Jersey City University, major in graphic design and eventually use his graphic design skills in an advertising career.- GMANews.TV


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 September 2010 11:32 )