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(J.R.H. 275)

Offered by: Representative Atkins of Winooski.

Whereas, conquering an extreme physical disability is not a simple task and often necessitates perseverance of an heroic magnitude, and

Whereas, as an eighth grader, Maria Rinaldi sustained severe injuries in a swimming pool accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down, and

Whereas, Maria’s determination to overcome her sudden physical limitations, and maximize the utilization of her abundant intellectual and creative capacity, constitutes an amazing tale of an individual who refuses to allow adversity to impede her life’s goals, and

Whereas, patience and persistence following her accident enabled Maria to resume her schooling and proceed to graduate as a valedictorian from Winooski High School and to be named a Vermont Scholar, and

Whereas, Maria then matriculated at St. Michael's College, where she continued to dazzle her classmates with her academic prowess and bountiful energy, and

Whereas, at St. Michael's College, she has excelled academically as a Spanish major and was named a Green Mountain Scholar, and

Whereas, concerned with assisting others who find themselves in similar circumstances, she has assisted Senator Jeffords in his efforts to develop and enact legislation benefiting the physically disabled, and

Whereas, when neither engaged in academic pursuits or seeking to enhance the lives of those who are physically challenged, Maria derives great joy from singing in a liturgical choir, and

Whereas, on Sunday, May 14, Maria will proudly graduate from St. Michael's College summa cum laude, and

Whereas, recognizing the many parallels in their personal efforts to renew their lives after unexpected life transforming events, the actor Christopher Reeves has written to Maria, congratulating her on the occasion of her graduation from St. Michael's College, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly is pleased to congratulate Maria Rinaldi on her graduation summa cum laude from St. Michael's College and her wonderful life accomplishments, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Maria Rinaldi in Winooski.