The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Sisterhood of higher education

City College student Robin Sexton (center) has assisted adults with developmental disabilities for over 20 years. Fellow students Norma Rodriguez (left) and Kathy Johnston (right) form Sexton’s new support group now at City College. Photo by ||Mike Nicholson||[email protected]

The bus bounces and rambles down the road filled with quiet, pensive passengers gazing out the windows looking forward to another day of higher learning. Seated on the crowded, quiet bus is 52-year-old Robin Sexton, on her way to City College.

Sexton is a small-framed woman with white hair just past her shoulders and sparkling brown eyes. Sexton is returning to college to get her associate degree in liberal arts after a 20-year career with Short City South, a developmental disabilities services organization that offers a wide range of programs to assist adults with developmental disabilities. And she knows she’ll be successful with the help of good friends she’s made on campus.

“I was born in upstate New York,” Sexton said. “My father was a career Air Force master sergeant who kept us moving around the country a lot.”

Sexton has five brothers and sisters and is the only child who was born with epilepsy and dyslexia. Later on in life Sexton was diagnosed with ADD and ADHD.

“I remember in my youth I had a real bad stuttering problem, which made things difficult,” she said.

“Other students used to tease me, and one day a teacher pulled me up in front of the class and called me stupid, called me a retard, and said I shouldn’t be allowed in school,” she said. “In a sense I felt that hurt me in school, because I really took that to heart. Now, however, it made me more determined to finish school.”

Sexton finds the demands of higher education a bit more challenging then the average college student.

“I felt as though I was just passed through the system. I never had algebra in school. Now I have to have it to reach my goal.”

While she was in high school, Sexton found Short Center South and decided she wanted to work there.

“When I started at SCS, I felt as if I fit in there and felt I could really help there, and that did my heart good,” she said.

Sexton started as a student teachers’ aid but became very involved with the students, starting art and graphics projects, a band and teaching sign language.

“The Two Tones was a music group I started at SCS,” she recalled. “We played ’50s and ’60s to ’80s and ’90s music. We played all over. In fact, two years in a row we played at the fairgrounds at Cal Expo. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work.”

Short Center South Assistant Director Eulene Luna remembers Sexton’s determination and innovations.

“The place isn’t the same without her,” Luna said. “Robin was a big part of this program, and she taught art, sign language [and] started [the] band. When she left, the band was no more. It was really sad.”

SCS teacher Susanna Kelly remembered the first day she met Sexton.
However, men can cure erectile dysfunction in men fast with effective herbal treatment. cialis generic cipla There are too many sex enhancement remedies are available in the market. viagra free sample You can regain your love making desire just like in any other case, here too, the best form of treatment is very effective for most men. viagra 100mg sildenafil Second, check if the viagra vs generic school is approved in Texas. to render driver Education online.
“We rode the same bus that morning, and we were talking. Then we both got up to get off the bus, [and] it came to us that we both worked at the same place,” Kelly said. “After that we teamed up and did a graphics class together and a visualization class. Robin was very creative, and she had a great sense of color. She could do the most beautiful watercolors.”

Sexton said she had to leave SCS because she had a series of strokes. “[That] took me out of the picture for a while. Then it took about two years for me to recover all the way.”

Part of her recovery has taken place at City College where Sexton has a support group she sits with at lunch and breaks. They meet at the cafeteria or the Learning Resources Center. All the women in the group have disabilities and difficulties.

Jennifer Blackwell, who started at City College in spring 2006, has changed her major three times and now is an archeology major. She has dyslexia and she’s bi-polar.

“I met Robin about a year ago,” Blackwell said. “She’s so sweet. I help out at the disabilities resource center in beginning math and beginning algebra. I’m an intermediate algebra student, but it makes me feel good to help. I try and help Robin as much as I can.”

Norma Rodriguez, who is married and 40 years old, started at City College in 2005 and is majoring in speech pathology.

“I have four children,” Rodriguez said. “Two of them are autistic. When I’m finished here, I want to transfer to Sac State.”

Kathy Johnson, 64, is married and has three children and 14 grandchildren.

“My disability is cerebral palsy,” said the occupational therapy major. “My long-term goal is to be an occupational therapist assistant in a [disabled] children’s school. I’ve been here a year and a half and have been with this group the whole time. Our group helped me get to this point, and because of them, I know I can make it.”

Another group member, Joyce Clark, is an early childhood education major, who hopes to become a teacher. Not married, she has two children at home and sings in here church choir. She said she believes in her fellow group members.

“I believe anyone can succeed if they put their heart into it,” Clark said.

Sexton agreed. Despite her learning disabilities, she said she is determined to reach her goals.

“After my recovery I could not sit at home any longer,” she said. “I had to get myself living again, so I came back to school.”

Former employer Eulene Luna said she believes Sexton will be successful.

“Robin’s got a big heart and she won’t quit,” Luna said. “She’s determined, nothing will stop her.”

Donate to The Express

Your donation will support the student journalists of Sacramento City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Express