Spartanburg Community College
"It’s great to put a face to people with disabilities. You never know when you might make a difference."
My name is Logan Hopper, and I am majoring in business management at Spartanburg Community College. I was born three months early, and while I was in the NICU, I developed spastic cerebral palsy. At first, doctors didn’t know what the prognosis would be. They told my mom that I might not be able to talk, walk, or even know who she is. It was definitely a challenging time for my family.
How has cerebral palsy shaped your life and your path to Spartanburg Community College?
When I first started school as a child, it was more difficult because the teachers and administrators had never dealt with a student who has a physical disability. It was new to everyone, and we had to figure out how I would get around and participate in my classes. Thankfully, things ended up going well, especially when I got in high school.
I was voted the homecoming queen and the prom queen in high school. That really boosted my confidence, because I never really thought that people paid attention to me that much.
I graduated from high school in 2015, but took a few years off because I had scoliosis surgery. The surgery was more involved than we thought, and it took me over a year to recover. That period took a big mental toll on me, but I knew I wanted to start college when I recovered.
What did you know about Spartanburg Community College before attending?
SCC recruiters would come talk to us in high school. I liked that it was close to home and small in size. I rely on others to take me places for the time being, and I don’t like a lot of crowds while I’m trying to get around in my wheelchair or with my walker. SCC just seemed like a really good fit.
What have you enjoyed about attending SCC?
I like that people are friendly and will talk to you. That always brightens brighten my day. After my surgery and recovery, it felt good to be around other people.
Disability Services at SCC has also been really supportive. If you don’t have a disability, you may not think about things like how to open doors and get around. I’ve had to advocate for what I think I might need, and Disability Services has made sure I get the proper accommodations to take and pass my classes. Because of my disability, I need longer testing time and help with typing so that I don’t get behind. Having a note-taker helps me out when I need it. Some of my professors even know how to help me get in my chair, move my wheelchair or whatever I may need.
I also connected with SCC’s marketing and PR department, and they’ve helped boost my confidence. I participated in one of their casting calls, and it has been great to put a face to people with disabilities and show others what they can do. You never know when you might make a difference.
What have you learned about yourself? What advice would you give?
I’m still working on this, but I’ve grown in dealing with the things that I’ve been through instead of just pushing the feelings aside. I’ve realized that it’s okay to struggle; that you don’t have to be positive all the time. When you showcase your struggles, that can also help someone else.
I would also say that it’s important to step out of your comfort zone, whether you’re looking at college or a job or something completely different. It’s okay to struggle and not know exactly what you want to do. Find somewhere where you feel like you belong and go from there.