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MWCC Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society Adds New Members

The Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society held a virtual induction ceremony to welcome its new members on May 4, 2023.

Delta Alpha Pi (DAPi) is an academic honor society that recognizes students with disabilities for their academic achievements. To be eligible, students must have completed twenty-four credits and earned an overall GPA of 3.10. DAPi inductees pledge to demonstrate leadership in advancing the rights of individuals with disabilities, to serve as a role model for other students, and to advocate for themselves and other individuals with disabilities. Established in 2017, the MWCC Delta Alpha Pi chapter is one of only twelve in the Commonwealth.

“Congratulations to each and every one of you, you worked very hard both inside and outside the classroom to reach this distinction,” said MWCC President James Vander Hooven in his opening remarks. “You have made the decision to persevere, to get the support you need, and to work together to be successful and I commend you for it.”

“I would also like to thank your advisors Amy LaBarge and Ann Reynolds, as well as our other staff members for the support they provide our students, the work you do does not go unnoticed,” Vander Hooven added.

Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, Jason Zelesky, addressed inductees, “This ceremony is particularly special to me because I know what each one of you has overcome to be in this room right now. Congratulations for not only your accomplishments, but for your resilience and perseverance to get to this point. Life is so much about how you define yourself, and I want you to define yourselves as scholars moving forward, you have earned it.”

“You are about to earn a degree, something that can never be taken away from you, education is the practice of freedom and unlocks opportunities for you and for generations that come after you,” Zelesky added. “We are all students for life, and while this month is a milestone, it is just the beginning. Keep taking risks, define yourself as a leader, challenge yourself, keep moving forward and keep proving other people wrong.”

Amy LaBarge, Coordinator of Disability Services and DAPi Advisor noted, “Today we celebrate you, all that you have achieved, and the journey that got you here. Ann and I are honored to be your advisors and are so very proud of you.”

Welcoming the new members to the DAPi were chapter co-presidents Amanda Robichaud and Nikki Ramos.

“What defines us is not what we see on the outside but what is on the inside and pushes us through,” Robichaud, a founding member of the MWCC DAPi told her peers. “Keep going, even if it takes you years, it’s the small steps, not the large leaps that bring us to the most everlasting change. I am proud of each one of you; don’t be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others, and I hope I have inspired you all. Please don’t stop, continue your journey, and remember to never give up.”

“Students with different abilities are often judged by what they are unable to do instead of the vast number of things that they can do,” Ramos noted. “Seeing that we were not only warmly welcomed into the Mount but honored for our accomplishments played a large part in my decision to apply to MWCC. I began attending meetings before I was even eligible to join DAPI. In a world where being different is not often embraced, the feeling of inclusion here was incredible.”

The Delta Alpha Pi inductees and graduates are:
Lauren Arsenault, Templeton
Marlene Boucher-Ripley, Rutland
Susan Cormier, Fitchburg
Krystyne Curtis, Nottingham, NH
Alisha LeBlanc, Leominster
Kate Margoles, Gardner
Jay Omeler, Shrewsbury
Nikki Ramos, Fitchburg (Co-President)
Abigail Randall, Worcester
Amanda Robichaud, Gardner (Co-President)
Heidi Surette-Narcisse, Leominster
Azucena Thibault-Munoz, Gardner
Alex Townsend, Stow
Lizabeth Velez, Lunenburg
Max Zbikowski, Ashburnham (Treasurer)