Public News (Houston) - - NEWS -

CON­ROE – Nor­man Eu­gene Hart­ley Jr. or “J.R.” puts abil­ity in ‘dis’abil­ity. The 44 year old re­ceived his Hu­man Ser­vices Cer­tifi­cate at Lone Star Col­lege-Mont­gomery’s com­mence­ment cer­e­mony May 12.

“All my life I was in spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion,” said Hart­ley. “A lot of peo­ple told me I could not go to col­lege, but when I met my wife in 2011 she con­vinced me that I could.”

Hart­ley cred­its LSC-Mont­gomery Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices for help­ing him.

“With­out their ac­com­mo­da­tions I do not think I would have come close to mak­ing it,” said Hart­ley. “When I first got here they gave me a pen that would go over words and read it to you, then I got a scribe and it re­ally helped. Scribes read me my tests and for some rea­son when some­thing is read to me I com­pre­hend it bet­ter, it clicks.”

J.R. has ad­vice for oth­ers with dis­abil­i­ties look­ing to at­tend col­lege.

“Please go to col­lege, you can do it,” said J.R. “Dis­abil­ity ser­vices at LSCMont­gomery will do ev­ery­thing in their power so you can suc­ceed.”

Hart­ley’s fa­vorite class was Dy­nam­ics of Group Coun­sel­ing with Pro­fes­sor Glen Kil­lian.

“I did not want that class to end be­cause I re­ally liked it a lot,” said Hart­ley. “I made a group on Face­book so every­body could keep up with each other and peo­ple still post to it.”

“I am so proud of J.R. for com­plet­ing his de­gree with us,” said Kil­lian. “He is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of the kinds of in­spi­ra­tional stu­dents we have in our Hu­man Ser­vices Pro­gram, stu­dents who have a heart to serve oth­ers and who have per­se­vered to achieve their goals. I al­ways tell our stu­dents they are my he­roes, and I am ex­cited to have played a small roll in JR’s suc­cess.”

“With­out pro­fes­sors Gra­ham Miner, Glo­ria Kessler, Dr. Cyn­thia Trumbo and Glen Kil­lian I would have never been a col­lege grad­u­ate. They are very pa­tient, very un­der­stand­ing and very car­ing. I will al­ways, al­ways hold them in high re­gard.”

J.R. has been in the gro­cery busi­ness since 1993, most re­cently work­ing in pro­duce at Kroger in Huntsville. He lives with his wife, Jamie, daugh­ter Ly­dia and 22-month-old daugh­ter Cora Mae. Hart­ley’s dad, Nor­man Eu­gene Hart­ley Sr. died three years ago. He gave J.R. a watch he wore on grad­u­a­tion day.

“I told my brother to save my dad a seat so it was like he was with me, watch­ing me on grad­u­a­tion day,” said J.R. “I know he would be proud. My cer­tifi­cate is some­thing that no one can ever take away from me. It is some­thing that I ac­com­plished and I will have those mem­o­ries and friends for­ever. I can say I went to col­lege and I grad­u­ated. I know now that with my de­ter­mi­na­tion noth­ing can de­ter me if I want to do it.”

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