Any student attending college faces challenges, especially their first year – which in part – is what the Catamounts Climb Higher award at West Virginia University Potomac State College is all about. Nontraditional student, Kyle Sevens, who was recently named a Catamounts Climb Higher award recipient, hasn’t let first-year college challenges, or any other obstacles, stop him from seeking a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree at the College.
Sevens was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2010, the year after he was married. MS is a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the protective covering of nerve cells, thereby affecting the central nervous system and impacting the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord. The nerve damage disrupts communication between the brain and the body.
“My plan was to graduate this year but the MS roller coaster had different plans for me, so okay, life challenge accepted. I'll bounce back," Sevens said.
As a Catamounts Climb Higher award recipient, Sevens is being recognized for his ability to overcome challenges and for staying the course. He is also recognized for his outstanding work ethic, kindness and positive attitude. And while this award is not based on GPA, the recipient must be in good academic standing.
“I can’t imagine how hard it is for Kyle,” said Jayne Gilbert, director of Retention Initiatives, “he not only pushes through the difficulties of MS, but also volunteers his time to help others whenever he can as well as facilitating a songwriting workshop once a week at the Indie on Main in Keyser.”