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Longhorn Scholar wins Mike Wacker award

After a serious car accident put her in the hospital, June Abbey chose to return and continue her education at the University of Texas at Austin. The Texas Parents recently honored her ongoing perseverance and determination with the Mike Wacker Award, which recognizes students who exemplify personal sacrifice, dedication, and conviction through the many hardships life can bring.

June entered UT in the fall of 2004 as a Longhorn Scholar. On the way back from Thanksgiving break in 2005, June and three friends were involved in a car accident. Sadly, one friend died at the scene, while the rest suffered critical injuries.

June was hospitalized for the rest of the fall semester and could easily have given up on her college career, but instead returned to UT for the 2006 spring semester. Since then, June has nearly completed her degree and will graduate this May. Christine Wilson of the Texas Parents commented, “June Abbey embodies the Mike Wacker Award in its entirety. She represents true dedication, commitment, and perseverance, and will continue to grow above and beyond the expectations of others.”

“I have so much respect and admiration for June because of all she has had to overcome to not only be here at UT, but to finish what she started,” said J.P. Regalado, Longhorn Scholars Program Coordinator. “While June is a highly gifted person, it is her hard work and dedication to being the best she can be that really sets her apart from many of her peers. It is our privilege to have her in our program and I am honored to know her.”

The Mike Wacker Award has become a symbol of courage and perseverance for students who face extreme adversity. Mike Wacker is a UT graduate and former Longhorn basketball player who overcame a devastating knee injury. An accident left him unable to walk, but through perseverence and hard work, Mike made a miraculous full-recovery. This award recognizes students, like Mike, who give their best and exemplify personal sacrifice, dedication, esteem, conviction and faith. It has become a symbol of courage and perseverance for students who face extreme adversity, and is presented only when truly extraordinary students are nominated.