Manuel Valverde (sophomore, DWA and French)

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For those of us who have experienced the loss of a loved one, we treasure the support and warmth others have to give. This past March I lost my grandfather, my mentor, but above all my friend.

It was a surreal and shocking moment to hear my mother’s voice in distress, to not being able to comfort her and my family in my arms, and to feel the sudden weight of a whole family placed upon my shoulders. Yet that weight, that sudden feeling that I was no longer the son but parent, was lifted by the support from my family, friends, classmates, Oxy faculty and staff. I have these groups of individuals to thank.

This campus does a great job at understanding and providing every student with the resources needed to overcome such obstacles. I am grateful to Professors Grayson, Tydell, Stone and Whitney for their understanding and warmth, which have aided me in overcoming this chapter of my life. These professors, as I would assume any others would, allowed me to make up two weeks worth of work.

The caring and helpful nature of the students and faculty at Oxy have helped me progress to this point, 7 months later, where I am able to share this situation with you. Though I miss my grandfather more as each day goes by, I know that I have the support of my family and extended Oxy family.

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