Antoinette Sharae’ Butler

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Graduation Date: May 2016
High School/Hometown: Weequahic High School, Newark, NJ
Clubs/Activities: Women’s Cross Country Team, Women’s Track and Field Team, Black Student Union

Antoinette Sharae’ ButlerAfter critical injuries from an extremely serious car accident in December threatened to set her graduation date back, Antoinette Butler ’16 got to work, determined to walk across the stage with her fellow classmates at Commencement in May.

“My time at GCU has been amazing. I have met new people and made lifelong friends. This school has opened me up to new experiences and pushed me to always do my best.”

The accident left Antoinette with a crushed pelvis, two broken femurs, a broken tibia and fibula in both legs, and a broken wrist. Over the last few months, Antoinette, a senior majoring in criminal justice and a member of the women’s cross country and track and field teams, has undergone multiple surgeries and endured intense physical therapy at the Meridian Subacute Rehabilitation Center in Wall.

While her survival from the accident is a miracle in itself, her determination to complete her undergraduate degree and be able to walk across the stage at Commencement is truly remarkable.

Along with participating in daily physical therapy exercises, Antoinette has also worked out an arrangement with her professors to complete her coursework online for the remainder of the semester.

“I chose GCU because I love the school and the faculty, and I am not just a number here,” says Antoinette. “Managing my coursework after the accident has not been bad at all because of the help I have received from the faculty. My professors have been understanding, and I have been able to get each of my assignments done.”

Despite the obstacles Antoinette has had to overcome this year, she has maintained a strong GPA and is currently on track to graduate—and walk—in May. After graduation, she plans to continue her recovery and pursue a Master of Social Work degree at Rutgers University.

Story contributed by Alexandria J. Graziosi ’15, who graduated in December with a B.A. in English.

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