Written by Jennifer Ferri, mother of 2022 GLCC Graduate Nina Ferri
Our identical twin daughters were born 3 months early. We were blessed with Katie for 21 days before she got her wings. Nina stayed in the hospital for 81 days. It was a very trying time for our family, but we survived by the grace of God.
Nina struggled in school. She was diagnosed early with cerebral palsy, ADD and a sensory processing disorder. The thing about Nina, is that she never stops fighting. She has always been a strong advocate for herself. When high school graduation came around, we worried about college. We wondered if college would even be an option.
We went to the college night at her high school and met the wonderful people from Great Lakes Christian College. At the time, Nina had an IEP with numerous accommodations. We never in a million years, thought we would get all of the accommodations at a college, let alone, more than we expected. She was part of a program called Emerging Scholars. They took Nina under their wings. They helped her with classes, homework, projects and life itself.
From our first visit to GLCC, Nina knew she was at home. She moved in in August. She was nervous, never being away from home, but knew that this is where she belonged. Nina always carried the weight of her struggles on her shoulders through high school. By October of her freshman year at GLCC, Nina came home from school a different person. She was laughing all the time, happy and content. She had found her home away from home.
Nina has a beautiful singing voice, but never shared it with anyone but her family. At her first Christmas concert at GLCC, I could hear her voice from the back of the room. It was amazing! She was praising and worshipping the Lord with a beautiful voice amongst her peers.
Nina’s grandma was the cornerstone of Nina’s faith. Grandma loved that Nina was at GLCC and bought her a study bible, a bible on tape and was always sending her encouragement through the mail and phone. In May 2019, Nina was at school and Grandma was passing away. We called Nina and she decided that she wouldn’t come home. At 10pm that night, Nina pulled up in our driveway. We were shocked. A suitemate of Nina’s drove Nina all the way home so that she could be with her Grandma. This is type of people that make up the family of GLCC. This is the type of community that Nina found in her home away from home.
To say thank you, doesn’t seem to be enough. GLCC has helped create the God loving, confident, and intelligent woman she is today. Nina is graduating GLCC with a double major. She has already secured a job at a Lutheran School as a teacher.
We are so grateful for her years at GLCC.