UHD students overcome obstacles to graduate

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Two University of Houston - Downtown students have overcome challenges to receive their degrees this Saturday.

Two University of Houston - Downtown students with the odds stacked against them will receive their bachelor's degrees on Saturday.

The school is recognizing Kohlton Fry, and Obedia Ramsey, 60, for their "Gator Grit," a term used to celebrate the determination of its students. The gator part is named after UHD's mascot.

Fry was in a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed several years ago.

He resumed his studies at a community college in north Texas, then returned to Houston and enrolled at UHD.

He now has earned a Bachelor degree in History.

"I came here and thought this was a temporary stop," he said. "I discovered that I loved the faculty and the location, not to mention the smaller classes. It was the right decision."

Although he is confined to a wheelchair, Fry is very active on campus.

Ramsey, who refers to herself 'Graduating Granny,' returned to school after being laid off in an industry she spent 27 years working in.

She was a mother of two sons when she graduated high school in 1977. She stayed focused and finished with her associate's degree at a community college in Dallas in 1980. At the time, she had the opportunity to continue her studies at a university but pursued a career in oil and gas to support her family.

She enrolled in some courses at Lone Star College, then transferred to UHD.

She now has a Bachelor of Business Administration from UHD's Marilyn Davies College of Business.

"Stay true to your passions," she said. "Many times our lives will take us down unexpected paths. They may not be the paths we thought we'd take. If you have the desire to accomplish a goal, such as earning a degree, your dreams will eventually come to pass."

Fry and Ramsey are examples of Gator Grit and reflect UHD's commitment to its transfer students. Through partnerships with community colleges, such as Houston Community College and LSC, students have opportunities to seamlessly transition from associate's programs into undergraduate majors at UHD.

Those seeking to continue their studies at UHD benefit from resources and events, like Transfer Thursday, which offers admission counseling, information on scholarship opportunities, and advising.
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