Josiah Collins receives ACSA Recognition Award

Clark student overcomes his greatest obstacles and succeeds


Josiah Collins and his dad after the awards ceremony.

Thor Hauerbach, Business Manager

GBS (Guillain-Barré syndrome) is a very rare medical condition that has less than 20,000 cases in the United States per year. It makes the immune system attack the nerves and can even lead to whole-body paralyzation. Josiah Collins said that he was diagnosed with GBS at 11. Following many forms of treatment and ups and downs, Collins thought he was GBS free, but a year later he was diagnosed with CIDP, (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy) another rare disorder pertaining to the peripheral nerves categorized by the weakness and loss of reflexes and the gradual increase of sensory loss.

In an effort to “become somewhat normal,” Collins had to take IV treatment and was completely paralyzed from the waist down while doing so. While recuperating, Collins went through physical therapy and emotional challenges. “Not being able to walk was a depressing and humbling experience,” Collins said.

The Association of California School Administration recognized Collins at their annual “Every Student Succeeding” awards ceremony in Pasadena on Nov. 12. Karine Turdjian, Clark’s head  counselor, was the one who nominated Collins for the award.

The award, given by the ACSA honors students who have overcome a hardship all while exceeding the expectations of their educators. “Seeing students who have gone through a lot such as abuse, orphanages and diseases, and then succeeding is such a heart-warming feeling,” Turdjian said. “Josiah is a model and a motivation to other students.”