The disabled community continues to grow in Amarillo. According to the Texas State Perspectives Report there are 33,162 disabled people in Amarillo. This leaves the area with a lot of Amarillo's disabled searching for services. The United way says there are hundreds of services for the are, such as mentoring, therapy, employment and schooling.
That is where the Amarillo College "LITE" program helps. The LITE (Living Independently Through Education) offers services and scholarships to disabled students. Currently, they have over 450 students with disabilities attending Amarillo College. Since 2002, "LITE" has raised more than $71,000 in scholarship money providing plenty of opportunities to their students.
One student, Jeff Weiss who is a sophomore at Amarillo College and grateful for the LITE program. " I probably wouldn't be doing anything. I would just be sitting at home doing nothing, Weiss said. Currently, Jeff is working on his general studies and hopes to be lawyer in the future.
Building self esteem is what Disability Services Coordinator Brenda Rossnagel is proud to help disabled students with. The thing you need to look at is the person first. Just get pass the disability," Rossnagel said.
The LITE program held their 6th Annual LITE luncheon on Tuesday, trying to raise money for next years students. The goal for The LITE program is close to reaching it's goal of $20,000, so far the program has raised $18,000. All proceeds from the donations pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies, special equipment and other expenses.