When Hazard Community and Technical College Professor John “Hugo” Back saw one of his students without a motorized wheel chair, he knew a source and had a newer and improved chair donated to the student.
Paula Brewer is just completing her first semester at HCTC and she’s pleased to receive the new chair from Back’s family. Hugo’s sisterin law, Linda Diane Dean, died recently and her husband, Glen Dean of Lenoir, North Carolina, donated the chair so Ms. Brewer could benefit from its use. Hugo Back’s stepdaughter, Joyce King, made the contact with Dean to donate the chair to Paula. Back’s late wife used the chair for a short time before she died.
“I’m very strong in my arms from manually operating this wheel chair,” Ms. Brewer said, “but now I can use the motorized chair when I’m home. I used to stay in my room a lot but now with the new chair, I can get around more.”
She told Back, a native of Elk Creek in Letcher County, how thankful she is for his family’s generosity.
“You have no idea how much I appreciate this,” she said. “You made it possible for me to be more independent, and I’m extremely grateful.”
The 2011 Perry County Central graduate lives with her grandparents, Diane and Charles Brewer. Despite being in a wheelchair, she said she will continue her school work.
“There is no excuse not to get an education. If there is a will there is a way. I’m a firm believer in getting an education,” Brewer said.
Back is quick to keep the emphasis off his role in making the gift possible for the student. “I’m thankful my family was able to help,” he said.
HCTC President Dr. Steve Greiner applauded Brewer for her enthusiasm and dedication for getting an education and praised Back for his thoughtfulness.
“Our faculty members are a very caring group of people who want what is best for our students,” Greiner said. “The goodwill Professor Back took to help this student is yet another example of the caring atmosphere at HCTC.”