Snapshot: Angela Haney
Major: Double major in business management and general studies
Motivated is more of an understatement when describing Angela Haney, a three-year student at Anne Arundel Community College. The twenty-year-old is wrapping up her business management degree at AACC and moving onto finishing up her second major, general studies, at University of Maryland University College. She juggles two majors, is president of SODA (Students Organized for Disability Awareness), volunteers at a disability camp and, most importantly, still manages to have a life.
“I wanted to come here first and explore a little bit of what I wanted to do,” she says of her decision to start her education at Anne Arundel. “It was the top rated community college in the U.S. and that drew me here instead of going to a four-year school. Now I’m more grounded and I’m ready to transfer.” She admits the transition won’t be easy after developing various relationships with professors and staff members like Academic Advisor and Coordinator of Disability Support Services Mimi Stoops and Assistant Director of Student Activities Chris Storck. “I’m going to miss the teachers here, too,” she smiles. “I like the one-on-one interaction. I had a couple of teachers—Professor Robyn Toman, who was one of the most influential teachers and Elaine Madden in the business department who really connected with me—these teachers pushed me to my limits. Not many teachers have done that.”
Being pushed to her limits is something Angela has experienced since birth, having been born with spinal bifida (Latin for “split spine”), a common birth defect where the spine is not fully formed. This confines Angela to a wheelchair, which naturally prompts attention and comments from strangers—positive and negative. “When I was younger people weren’t taught about people in wheelchairs,” she says. “I had trouble proving to them I was capable of having a normal life. A lot of teachers treated me ‘special,’ but at the college I don’t have those kinds of troubles. They treat me just as normal as anyone else.”