Perry High student overcomes disability to succeed

alopez@macon.comMay 21, 2014 

Jimmy Swopes

Jimmy Swopes is nearly blind and can’t write, but he is graduating from Perry High School ranked 26th in his class based on his 3.9 grade point average.

Swopes, who is in a wheelchair, plans to attend Central Georgia Technical College in Warner Robins but is undecided about what he’d like to study. He enjoys school so much that he hung around Perry High this week even though he was exempt from end-of-course exams.

When asked Wednesday for his secret to success, Swopes pointed to Bob Lucas, the paraprofessional provided to him by his individualized education program.

For the past four years, Lucas has accompanied Swopes to his classes and has helped by reading material to him and by writing down Swopes’ thoughts.

His father, David Fisher, said Swopes maintains a positive attitude despite having to live with cerebral palsy. In 10th grade, Swopes wrote a poem that hints at the man he is, Fisher said.

“I feel different than most students my age,” Swopes wrote. “I touch people’s lives ... I worry about girlfriends and my dad ... I understand mostly everything ... I dream about what heaven will be like ... I hope one day to get out of my chair. I am Jimmy!”

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