The 2019 Scholarship Winner
University of Central Florida
August 1, 2019
The Sure Oak team is pleased to announce Tanner Geng as the winner of The 2019 Sure Oak Scholarship for $1,000. Tanner, who attends the University of Central Florida, was selected from a pool of 500 candidates. Candidates had to craft and submit an essay detailing how their university will put them on track to achieving their goals.
Tanner wrote a moving essay elaborating his journey in education with a neurological disability. In his essay, Tanner highlights his incredible tenacity for life and numerous achievements he’s earned.
Tanner is currently attending the University of Central Florida as a law student.
Tanner’s Winning Essay
Growing up with a disability has provided me both strength and vision to become a special education attorney to help others like me. From as long as I can recall my life has had adversity due to apraxia, a neurological condition that for years trapped me in silence and robbed me of my ability to speak. I would know exactly what I wanted to say and would desperately want to be able to say it, but as much as I tried before speech therapy all that would come out was the sound “mmm”.
I know this because my story has been on various TV shows including Inside Edition and PBS and two books including The Late Talker, and The LCP Solution. In the book The LCP Solution by Dr. Stordy, she explains how severe my speech impairment was. “With speech therapy, Tanner had learned to say basic sounds such as “sh,” “ch,” “t,” and “s” with some prompting…but he found it impossible to take the “ch” sound and put it together with the “oo” sound to make “choo.” As soon as I was old enough to understand my parents asked my permission about sharing my story online. I have always felt strongly about sharing my story online so that I can help others like myself and my entire childhood up to graduation has been documented now in two documentaries the most recent being Late Talkers.