Auger & Auger is proud to announce that Jon Cowart is one of the recipients of our 2018 Spring Semester Disabled Scholar Award. Twice a year, these scholarships are presented to students throughout America who have overcome their disability and exceeded the limiting expectations placed upon them. Recipients of the award receive $1,000 to assist them with their educational expenses.
Jon Cowart exemplifies positivity and hard work in every aspect of his life. Growing up, Jon constantly dealt with pain in both of his feet due to a birth defect that left them deformed. However, he never let this slow him down, even for a moment. Instead of feeling defeated because he couldn’t participate in all the activities that other boys his age were doing, Jon trusted in his motto — Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” — and started actively pursuing his interest in engineering. He has always hoped to become a successful engineer, so he will be able to develop inventions and other innovations that will help others with birth defects avoid the suffering that he experienced.
As Jon entered high school in Pennsylvania, he was given the opportunity to have an experimental surgery performed on his feet to ease his pain. Instead of being afraid, he was excited about the prospect of being able to walk at a normal pace and potentially participate in athletic activities. After a successful surgery, Jon put his strong sense of determination and perseverance to work. Every single day he had to put forth 100% effort in his rehabilitation program to get to the level of movement that he wanted to reach.
Even setbacks couldn’t slow him down. He suffered a fracture in one of his hands in a weightlifting accident, but quickly underwent surgery to replace the bone with a titanium implant and was back in the gym as soon as he was cleared. He now plays on various intramural sports teams at his college, Penn State University.
Jon’s ambition is not only evident on a sports field or in a weight room, it is also clearly visible in the classroom. While he was undergoing an extensive rehabilitation program, he did not settle for taking the easiest classes he could find. Instead, he pushed himself to take AP and honors classes in order to prepare himself for his next goal of excelling in college. Now at Penn State, Jon is pursuing an engineering degree and continues to do his best in the classroom on a daily basis, never letting his disability be an excuse or hold him back.
Jon’s story serves as an inspiration for anyone, but especially for others with physical disabilities who believe they can never achieve certain physical goals. However, Jon is not satisfied with only being an inspiration. He hopes to continue to pursue his engineering goals at Penn State and develop the technology that will help others born with a similar disability to his.