Skylar CovichSkylar Covich believes the best way to pay back those who have made his scholarships possible is to get good grades. With a 3.7 grade point average, he is not only making donors proud but also paving the way toward his goal of becoming a college professor.

“My scholarships definitely enable me to come to Saint Mary’s and be fully involved here,” says Covich, who serves as president of the SMC Democrats Club and as a student member of the Core Curriculum Task Force.

It hasn’t been easy for him. The 20-year-old junior from Redding is blind and relies heavily on technology for his education. His computer has both Braille and voice recognition attachments, allowing him to take notes and read anything on the screen.

“Saint Mary’s has been a place where it has been easy for me to succeed,” says Covich, who has received a Francis Cullen Miller scholarship and other awards. “The small classes have let me get to know my professors quicker and allowed them to learn what my strengths are.”

Covich spends a lot of time with professors in the Politics Department, his major course of study. His biggest inspiration is professor Hisham Ahmed, who is also blind and grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp.

“It’s more difficult being blind in that part of the world,” says Covich. “I have grown up with the technology, and the talking programs have gotten better and better.”

Acknowledging the close ties between politics and religion, particularly in the Middle East, Covich plans to minor in theology and religious studies.

“Religion is a really important part of the world,” he says. “It affects a lot of what happens in the world.”

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