Sarah Hinde: Overcoming Obstacles and Inspiring Others

Born with disabilities, Sarah Hinde faced numerous challenges throughout her academic career, but she never let these obstacles define her. Instead, she used them as motivation to achieve her goals and inspire others.


Sarah Hinde

Sarah Hinde was a student speaker during the RAISE Completion Ceremony on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

In high school, Sarah was advised to stay an extra four years because her teachers doubted her ability to succeed in the RAISE program without their support. This discouragement planted seeds of doubt in her mind, but Sarah was determined to prove them wrong. She completed the RAISE program in the fall and began taking college classes for credit in January of this year.

"There are no IEPs in college. We had to become our own advocates, make new friends, and figure out how to balance school, life, and home life. All while conquering doubts that we were not going to make it. Whether that was others doubting us or we were doubting ourselves," Sarah shares.

Sarah chose RVC to pursue a better education and fulfill her passion for advocacy and motivational speaking. Her decision was also influenced by the passing of her grandfather, who valued education greatly. "My grandpa passed away during my junior year in high school. He was really big on education, so my entire senior year, I was doing anything and everything I could to make him proud," she recalls.

At RVC, Sarah immersed herself in various activities, including the Occupy Club, which promotes disability awareness and inclusivity. Her involvement helped her feel more connected and supported on campus. She also became one of the current homecoming queens, further highlighting her active participation and integration into the college community.

"Everyone here is so friendly. If you need help, you know that help is available. The support systems like the tutoring center, Disability Support Services, and the Writing Center offer so many good opportunities. I've made a lot of good friends here."

Rachel Boge, RAISE Program Coordinator admires Sarah’s goal-oriented mindset and has learned a lot from her. “Sarah has an unmatched amount of perseverance. When she says she is going to do something, she will accomplish it no matter how much work it takes. She is dedicated to reaching her goals. She is also constantly lifting up the people around her.  She wants to see other people, especially those with disabilities, believe in themselves and succeed. She has the ability to help other students in a way that we as staff aren’t able to because we don’t have that same lived experience. Outside of school, she has a platform where she educates people on Cerebral Palsy. I have learned so much from her. I have no doubt that she will accomplish everything she sets her mind to.”

Sarah attributes much of her academic success to the resources and support provided by RVC. The Writing Center, tutoring center, and Disability Support Services have been instrumental in helping her excel in her classes, particularly in English, which she found challenging.

"I've always been taught that it's okay to ask for help. The Disability Support Services and all those programs give you the help you need and support you. I've worked with tutors and developed close relationships with them. They have just helped me so much throughout my time here," she says.

Sarah is currently focusing on her English courses, aiming to earn an associate's degree in public speaking and disability advocacy. Her goal is to become a motivational speaker and advocate for people with disabilities. She wants to share her story and help others understand that individuals with disabilities have dreams and goals just like everyone else.

"Growing up, I was often bullied for my disability. But I learned that people usually bully because they don't understand. I want to become a disability advocate to help people understand and support others with disabilities. Sharing my story led me to discover my passion for motivational speaking.”

Sarah's journey has taught her the importance of seeking help and embracing the support of the community. She encourages other students to take advantage of the resources and opportunities available at RVC.

"If I could give any advice to RAISE program students or any student at RVC, it would be this: Everyone's here for you. We're a community. Don't be afraid to reach out if you need help. Take advantage of the clubs and events. Make the most of your college experience because you only get to go to college once," she advises.

Sarah's journey at RVC is just the beginning. Her determination, coupled with the support of her college community, has prepared her to achieve her dreams. She continues to work towards becoming a motivational speaker, using her experiences to inspire others and advocate for people with disabilities. Sarah Hinde's story is a powerful reminder that with resilience, support, and a positive mindset, anything is possible.