Agique Anderson from Peekskill struggled at first when he transitioned from learning in a hospital to learning in a classroom. Four years later, he was recognized at an awards ceremony by students and faculty members of the Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services for academic success and ambition.
"To be able to transform from being a student at the hospital to the bigger classrooms was great for me," Anderson said. "It really helped me mature."
Anderson spent most of the earlier years of his life learning at the Mount Pleasant Blythedale School housed at Blythedale Childrens Hospital. He graduated from the school in 2006 before moving onto the BOCES program to study office skills.
Since leaving Blythedale, Anderson paid visits to students as a mentor and role model for inspiration.
The experience was the most rewarding and inspirational period in my life, he said.
While in school, Anderson also juggled internships at the Westchester Medical Center and the BOCES Homeless Student program.
"It was tough, but I loved it," he said. "It helped me to understand what I want to do in my life."
The celebrations will continue on June 26 when Anderson graduates from Peekskill High School.
Anderson will be attending Westchester Community College in the fall to study business and said he hopes to one day become an office manager.
Anderson underwent two heart surgeries by the time he was six months old. In 1993, doctors diagnosed him with cerebral palsy.
He was born with hydrocephalus, a condition that occurs when cerebral spinal fluid is unable to drain from the brain. At birth, doctors had to put a shunt in his head that he will have for the rest of his life to help drain the fluid.
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