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Davaughn Snead-Hooks

Arnold Castillo

In one of his final conversations with his grandfather, Davaughn Snead-Hooks promised he’d become the first grandchild in the family to graduate college.

“Nine times out of 10, we would talk about my education,” he said. “It was always his focus.”

Hooks’ unconventional journey featured its share of obstacles, but the Providence native fulfilled his promise when he finally walked the stage at the Community College of Rhode Island’s 54th commencement ceremony at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

Though his grandfather didn’t get to experience the moment – he passed away seven months before commencement – Hooks is proud of the fact he never quit despite a humbling, three-year journey plagued by medical problems that almost derailed his college career.

Hooks breezed through his academics in high school until he suffered his first grand mal seizure at the age of 15. The seizures continued in college, forcing him to leave Johnson & Wales University after one semester. With a nudge from his grandfather, he enrolled at CCRI and worked with the staff at the Disability Services office to manage his epilepsy and succeed in the classroom.

Hooks graduated with an associate degree in Business Administration. Attending CCRI helped him realize he didn’t have to be defined by his disability. He learned to face his fears and overcome obstacles, all of which has prepared him for life’s next great challenge.

“I gained so much experience and confidence from being at CCRI,” Hooks said. “A lot of people asked me, ‘Why a two-year college?’ Sometimes it’s better to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. It took me my first year here to realize it. I think that’s what my grandfather was trying to explain to me all along.”

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