Woman overcomes disability to achieve college dream

Sazza Self
Sazza Self

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She’s small in stature, but big in bravery and compassion. An Oahu college student gets ready to share her inspiration story with thousands.

Sazza Self has been selected as commencement speaker at Friday’s graduation ceremony at Leeward Community College.

“I am happy, it feels good. I love speaking and I love holding mic. It’s just my passion,” Self said.

The 22-year-old student will also be graduating with her Associate’s Degree. She has a 4.0 grade point average, speaks three languages, and was born blind.

“It was very hard for society to accept me because of my disability,” Self said.

Born and raised in Nepal with a brother, who is also blind, Sef visited 30 schools as a child until she finally found one that would accept her. But they didn’t have a single textbook.

“Books for the blind are not available, so all I would do is go to class and listen to teachers lecture,” Self said.

It became her goal to come to America to further her education.

“Because I heard blind people in the U.S. had their own textbooks and there are many more facilities, and so my planning was to apply for a student visa,” Self said.

Sponsored by a photographer she met in the eighth grade, Self’s student visa was eventually accepted and in 2010 she moved to Oahu.

“She works very hard and she motivates me and she makes me a better person,” husband Bill Self said.

The two met at LCC and soon married. Bill is 6′ 2″ and Sazza is 4′ 10″, but Bill looks up to Sazza when it comes to dedication and determination.

“Her bravery she is so brave and is not afraid of everything she came to another country not knowing what to expect and she holds her head high,” Bill said.

“And I just want people to know that you can do anything that your heart desires and you should not let anything stand in your way,” Sazza said.

LCC’s commencement ceremony will be held Friday starting at 5 p.m.

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