UW-Sheboygan’s student spotlight for the month of April is on Myranda Gereau.
Born with a form of muscular dystrophy, this bright and determined Plymouth High School graduate, plans to be an advocate for children with disabilities when she completes a degree in Human Services.
Named Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin in February, she also serves as state ambassador for MDA, and has been an advocate for providing ongoing therapy for people with disabilities.
This monthly feature highlights one student’s academic achievement and provides the community with an inside look into campus life and a greater understanding of the diverse profiles and experiences of our students.
Name: Myranda Gereau
Major: Human Leadership program
Career Goal: Associate for children with disabilities
High School: Plymouth Comprehensive High School, 2014
Why did you choose UW-Sheboygan? UW-Sheboygan is very affordable, but what really got me to come here was the amazing staff! All of the teachers are very accommodating and willing to work with my unique situation. They took time out of their busy day to help me and problem solve on how I can be as independent as possible.
Outside of being a college student, what takes up your free time? I spend time with my family especially my little sister Allie. I like to cook, draw, read and play pool on Facebook. I’m also a local ambassador of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and have been going to events to raise awareness for them since I was eight. Most recently I was crowded Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin 2017 which will allow me to travel around the state to raise awareness about different topics surrounding disabilities and promote my platform “We Are Able”. In August I’ll be going to Erie, Pennsylvania to have a chance to be crowned Ms. Wheelchair America 2018.
Who is your favorite professor or staff member? I don’t have one, I have three! My first one is Synde Kraus, my math teacher for two semesters, because she helped me in and out of the classroom - both with her class and even other classes. My second pick is Rick Ponzio. Mr. Ponzio was my speech teacher and even though I took public speaking classes before, he helped me become even better at it. He helped me format my speeches and to be more conscious about what I’m doing while speaking - such as not moving my chair back and forth. My third pick is Richard Edwards, my Religion 101 teacher. Rich opened my eyes to the whole world and got me out of my own little one. His class was full of knowledge and I came out of it every day with my mind filled with new perspectives on the world around me.
What has been your favorite class? My favorite class had to be my Religion 101 class because I learned so much every day. Every class started out with what was going on in the world. Rich always told us how it was and didn’t sugar coat anything. His lectures were never boring. They were filled with information about the different religions and his personal experiences.
What do you plan to do after UW-Sheboygan? I plan to continue my education at UW-Oshkosh to earn my bachelor’s degree in Human Services. My goal is to work at a hospital or school as an advocate for children with disabilities. I want to be a voice for children who can’t be heard.
What is one piece of advice you have for incoming UW-Sheboygan students? Don’t be afraid to approach teachers with questions or ask them during class. No question is stupid or dumb because there is probably another student wanting to ask the same thing. Also, give your opinion on subjects and be bold.
Additional thoughts: I have been told by so many people that I can’t do something because of my wheelchair or my medical issues with my trach and vent. Every time someone said that, I told them to “watch me!” So far, I’ve proven teachers, students, and doctors wrong. I am able to do things - I just have to do them differently and maybe not the “normal” way.