School: Portland State University
Age: 22 years old
Favorite Extracurricular Activity: Loves watching and attending the Seattle Mariners baseball games
It was a love of baseball that first sparked Steven Lynch’s interest in statistics. Realizing his gift of understanding numbers and mathematical processes, Steven decided to pursue a degree in accounting at Portland State University following graduation from Sherwood High School in 2008.
Growing up as a child with muscular dystrophy, Steven has encountered a wide variety of life experiences in his 22 years. A sucker for the limelight, Steven flourished in the extra attention he received in his wheelchair and looked forward to attending MDA camp every summer. His confident, easy-going demeanor helped him overcome judgment from peers who may have possessed pre-conceived notions or misconceptions regarding his disability. Living without regret, Steven is thankful to have a strong support system in his family and friends and believes that “everything happens for a reason.”
Steven navigated his independence during his college years by hiring full time caregivers to allow him flexibility in transportation, planning social events, and going to class. Though coordinating schedules with a number of people adds a level of complexity to otherwise simple tasks, with enough planning and organization, Steven is able to balance the availability of his assistants to accomplish what he needs.
Steven chose to attend PSU due to its close proximity to home and strong business program. He considers attending college one of his greatest successes to date. “I know it doesn’t sound like much but just the fact that I was able to graduate high school and attend college was a big deal for the situation I’m in.”
If he could give any advice to younger students with disabilities, Steven would recommend asking plenty of questions when you have uncertainties. In his earlier years at PSU, he was often hesitant to address his concerns with professors though he learned through experience that seeking clarification was the best way to achieve success in the classroom. Steven suggests that it is also important to start early when seeking accommodations from the Disability Resource Center, as he once waited to the last minute and had to begin the first day of class without a proper desk.
In addition to attending college, Steven has volunteered his free time working with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and was honored with the Courage Award for his tenure as the Goodwill Ambassador for the state of Oregon in 2005. “I always felt good when I gave back to a worthy cause.”
Following graduation, Steven would like to establish his career by starting his own business or joining an accounting firm, though his dream job would be to work for his favorite baseball team, the Seattle Mariners. Thanks to support from Nike, finding the financial resources to attend college is one less obstacle for Steven to face in pursuing his dreams. We are certain that graduating from Portland State University is just the first of many great successes to come in Steven’s future.