WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Graduation day marks a celebration of academic achievement.
That day has arrived for hundreds of students at Luzerne County Community College, including one student who has exhibited a special drive and determination to earn her diploma.
All LCCC students graduating Thursday at Mohegan Sun Arena have proven they can overcome life’s obstacles, especially during what’s been a challenging pandemic. But a young woman from Plains Township has overcome so much more to earn her degree.
In a world that often puts barriers in life’s pathway, Lizzie Breznay knows how to break through each and every one. Despite physical and verbal obstacles caused by cerebral palsy, she is a Luzerne County Community College’s Class of 2021 graduate, earning her degree in audio/video communications with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
“It’s been an amazing, hectic journey, but an amazing journey and we’re super proud of her today,” Helene Breznay, Lizzie’s mother, said.
Lizzie enrolled at LCCC in 2019 to pursue her academic dreams.
“When Lizzie first came to us we really weren’t sure how we were going to do this because, you know, she has a handicap but she is such a dynamic personality that we really didn’t have to change much,” Tom McHugh – Chairman, Communications Arts Department, LCCC, said.
Just months later, the pandemic put yet another obstacle in Lizzie‘s path.
“She didn’t give up and didn’t want to give up. We ended up doing all of the classes online which basically we were thrust into the online. It was frightening for her, for all of us because we are the button pushers for Lizzie. Lizzie tells us what to do and we press the buttons on the computer for her to do her work,” Helene said.
“Lizzie is an extraordinary individual who’s persistence obviously is demonstrated by the fact that she’s graduating today and she’s our class speaker for the class of 2021. Remarkable achievement, she’s an inspiration for so many,” Leary said.
Lizzie used her Tobii, a communication device, to sound out the speech she wrote.
“From the first day that I visited the campus, I knew that Luzerne County Community College was the perfect fit for my unique situation,” Lizzie said.
As the names of LCCC graduates were called to receive their diplomas, it was finally the moment Lizzie has waited for following two long years of hard work.
“This is beyond my wildest dreams. I never saw this coming. But here she is and giving a speech is like just icing on the cake. You know what I mean but we are all like super proud,” Brian Breznay, Lizzie’s father, said.
And now, as the Class of 2021 celebrates their achievements, Lizzie will be among them conquering new goals and inspiring many along the way.
Lizzie plans to use her degree and skills to pursue her dream of becoming a multimedia producer, director and editor in broadcasting while also exploring freelancing opportunities.