On Saturday, she completed the circle, paying Westminster back for its largesse with a hard-earned diploma and rave reviews from her professors and Westminster administrators. "This amazing young woman has overcome such tragedy and has dealt with her sister's death in such a remarkable way — by giving back," said Krista DeAngelis, Westminster's associate director of communications. "She is an incredible inspiration to those who have faced tragedy, yet still completed their educational goals."
Shonti graduated in art with minors in chemistry and music. Ultimately, she'd like to be a doctor, like her father. This June, she plans to apply to medical school.
"Life doesn't really stop, so you have to keep going," she says.
But she will always carry the memory with her.
"To this day, people say to me 'I can't imagine,' " she says. "And you know what I say? 'Neither can I.' I still can't believe it happened, and I survived it. I know I will never forget it. It changed the way I see the world. Not in a bad way or a better way, just a new way. I see the big picture in a way I didn't before. When people tell me something bad that's happened to them, I just listen. I don't try to tell them what happened to me. I can't expect anyone to see the way I see."
Lee Benson's About Utah column runs Monday and Friday.
Lee Benson's About Utah column runs Monday and Friday. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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