James Donnelly

James Donnelly

James Donnelly studied communication sciences and disorders at California State University Chico. He also has cerebral palsy with spastic dysarthria.  With financial help and guidance from DOR and a personal aid to help with the transition to college life, James looks forward to the next chapter. 

I was very sheltered. Even if I wasn’t sheltered, I felt sheltered… because of my disability. You know, I couldn’t go out and run with my friends.

One day at my elementary school the bell was ringing and I went outside with my friends and I was chasing them and then all of the sudden they ran on the grass to escape me and I just sort of sat there... I sat there and looked as they ran away from me onto the grass and then a second later they were just, you know, doing something else.

And I’m like, huh-- so this is what it’s like? I can’t… I don’t have the ability to go run around with people like that.

And that’s why I like wrestling, because I get to see people do things I wish I could do.  That’s why I like video games. I get to do things I wouldn’t normally get to do.

I do say, “I wish it was easier” sometimes because I mean, who wouldn’t? But then I just think… you know what, it could be a lot worse. I could be in a lot rougher shape. I’ve seen people with disabilities, and even without disabilities, who are in a lot rougher shape than I am. Either through socioeconomics or just their outlook on life. And I’m not saying I have the best, happy-bird-sunshine outlook on life, because I don’t. 

But it’s a lot happier than it used to be.

Alex Lee

Alex Lee

Elijah Martinez

Elijah Martinez