Cecilia Tauteoli reached beyond her goals as a student speaker at SBVC's 2009 Commencement.
She discovered that she had an undiagnosed learning disability, which she began dealing
with at SBVC through textbooks on CD.
At 26-years-old, Cecilia Tauteoli stood in front of more than 5,000 people as student
speaker at SBVC’s 2009 Commencement.
It was a triumphant declaration of her reason for going to college.
“I wanted to prove to myself and the world that I wasn’t dumb,” Tauteoli said. “As
far back as I can remember, my report cards always labeled me as behind and struggling
in reading, spelling and math. I didn’t want that label anymore and it kept me going.”
Tauteoli didn’t wilt under the pressure of consistently underwhelming messages and
feedback from her teachers.
“Even though my tests and grades were below average in high school, I still had college
on my mind,” Tauteoli said.
In order to qualify for a degree and be prepared to transfer, Cecilia took six English
and/or reading courses and seven math courses—most at night, after working all day.
With the help of the Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSP&S) office at SBVC,
Cecilia discovered that she had been suffering in silence for years with an undiagnosed
learning disability. The DSP&S staff helped coordinate the delivery of her textbooks
on CD, which helped her excel in defeating this quiet demon.
“For the longest time, I didn’t consider myself as having a disability because I wasn’t
in a wheelchair. But, there are a lot of people out there who have the same challenges
as me and don’t even try college.’’
Cecilia transferred to California State University, San Bernardino, to continue taking
classes. Her goal is earning a degree in business, with an emphasis in marketing.