Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Donzell Slack defies the odds with MCC graduation


Donzell Slack, 24, of Carson City, said his most memorable moment at Montcalm Community College was walking across the stage at graduation. 

“I felt proud and honored,” he said. “I was glad to have a family who pushed me and motivated me.” 

He graduated with an Associate of Science & Arts degree on May 3. A feat that his parents were told would not happen when he was young, since he was diagnosed with autism. They were told he would never function as an adult and that they would have to care for him for the rest of his life. 

“Look at me now,” Slack said. “I graduated high school, I have a driver’s license, I graduated college. My parents and God helped me get to where I am today. They taught me to have a good work ethic and how to put forth the effort to get things done and do it right.” 

Slack was homeschooled and said he enjoyed learning things that weren’t being taught in local schools. He said he really enjoyed his Creative Writing course at MCC. It helped him hone in on his craft writing stories. 

“My favorite teacher was my Intro to Literature teacher,” he said. “He’s a great guy. He gave me advice and insights on how to write essays. It was a lot of fun.” 

Another memorable moment was traveling to the museum in Grand Rapids with his biology class.  

“We got to see a lot of things that made Michigan what it was back in the day,” Slack said. 

He was thankful for the new life experiences he got at MCC, as well as meeting a lot of new people and teachers. 

“They have been a tremendous help through each subject as I worked toward my degree,” he said. 

In the past, he worked for the City of Carson City cleaning up leaves on the side of the road. He hopes to be hired full-time for the city, or he hopes to write reviews for a newspaper or a magazine. He is currently working on writing a fantasy novel. 

In his spare time, he enjoys reading and writing, playing video games, and watching gaming videos on YouTube. 

Slack also praises God for the ups and downs in his life. 

“God takes the good things and bad things that happen to you and turns it into something great,” he said. 

He offered some advice to those who may be facing challenges like he was. 

“Don’t look at your disabilities as a ball and chain weighing you down,” Slack said. “Look at them as superpowers that can help get you through the door.”