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Alumni Update: Sharon Mikrut

September 11, 2018

In 1977, Sharon Mikrut was driving home from work when she was hit by two drunk drivers. The side of her car was smashed to the back like an accordion and, in the process, the roof caved in, broke her neck and severed her spinal cord at C5-6. At the time of her accident, she was between her freshman and sophomore years of college. After her rehabilitation, she transferred from Eastern Michigan University to Michigan State University to continue school where she obtained degrees in Social Work and Psychology. She then went to the University of Michigan for her graduate work and received a Master's Degree in Social Work. While attending graduate school, she worked at an independent living center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and then moved to Colorado in 1985. She had several jobs while she lived in Colorado, from working as a vocational counselor at a nonprofit agency to working for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). At DVR, she developed the Rocky Mountain Regional Brain Injury Center, a TBI Model System funded by a $3.7 million grant. She also worked for the Colorado's Department of Personnel where she was tasked to develop the state's first Affirmative-Action Program for Persons with Disabilities and coordinated the state's Independent Living Program.

In 1998, she moved to Arizona to escape the cold weather where she has been living in Tucson for the past 18 years. In Tucson, she worked for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, was instrumental in developing the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals, worked for Rehabilitation Services Administration, and is currently with MHC Healthcare as its Supervisor of Employment Services.

"My entire career has been spent in developing programs for and providing services to persons with disabilities," Sharon says. "I love attending plays and musicals, trying new restaurants, traveling and photography. I am also a Jehovah's Witness and try to preach the good news of God's Kingdom every opportunity I have. I have never let my disability stand in the way of working, playing and enjoying life. I am positive and have always had a good life. My favorite quote is 'Attitudes are the real disability.' You can choose to see a glass as half-full or half-empty; my glass has always been half-full."