Michael Penniman is the co-founder of Students Care, a non-profit organization with the mission of improving the lives of college students with disabilities by facilitating reliable and responsive student to student care, and by building relationships that support client integration into the college community. Early on his Michael's college career, he sustained a neck injury that resulted in paralysis from the neck down. Michael had to drop out of college to relearn how function in his day to day life using assistive tools and technology. Upon returning to college, he founded Students Care to match UI students with disabled students in need of home and community based care services. Michael has taken is injury in stride and used his experiences to benefit disabled students across campus.
I'd love to thank my family, friends, fellow students, professors, teachers and caregivers for helping me to adapt and overcome anything to graduate successfully from the University of Iowa. I'm proud to receive this award and be recognized for my advocacy work, volunteering, and involvement with individuals with disabilities and my impact on the disability community. I would not have graduated without Students Care and I look forward to many other current and future students with disabilities will say the same!