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James Wieczorek came to SCC in 1993 determined to go to college. He was a truck driver for 15 years until Christmas Eve, 1991, when he stopped at a rest area in Memphis, Tenn. While attempting to make a phone call, he was shot in the neck. Luckily a passerby spotted him and rushed to the hospital.
He suffered strokes and a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed. Despite his medical issues, he came to SCC with a positive attitude, eager to prepare for a new career and never used his disability as an excuse.
James graduated with an Associate of Arts degree and high honors from SCC in 1996. His interest in politics and advocating for others developed into a dream to practice law.
He received a scholarship to the Pierre Laclede Honors College at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and graduated summa cum laude in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. He earned his law degree in 2002 from Saint Louis University School of Law, where he received the Student of the Year Award.
James passed the bar exam in both Missouri and Illinois and went to work with the Law Firm of Michael T. George in St. Louis, where he still works part-time today. He has argued cases at all levels, including the Missouri Supreme Court, Missouri Court of Appeals and Illinois Appellate Court.
He also makes time to give back, volunteering to assist students in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy programs at Washington University, Saint Louis University and Maryville University with the spinal cord clinic.
“After suffering my spinal cord injury, I didn’t want to sit home and do nothing,” James said. “I decided that SCC would be a perfect choice to begin my educational journey. The community college provided a social environment and great learning opportunity that set the foundation for reaching my goals.”
Last updated: June 2, 2016