Sara Gaver, is 21 years old and lives in Osteen, Florida. She was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Jacksonville when she was 12 years old. She was born with a physical disability called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. This rare, non-hereditary disability is formed in the womb and results in joint contractures and muscle weakness. This left her unable to walk, she now operates a power wheelchair with her head. She got her first wheelchair at the age of four and it was the start of her independence. Throughout her early years of life, Sara's parents had always been her advocates. They would fight for the things she needed to make sure that she was able to fit in and they would fight to make sure that her life would be just like everyone else's. "They don't see my disability as a disability; they see me for all of my abilities".
Sara Gaver is a senior in the honors program majoring in healthcare administration with a minor in community leadership at the University of North Florida. She joined the Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity her first year, became a member of the Rotaract club serving the Jacksonville community, the Vice President of Administration for the Presidential Envoy Student Alumni Association, and a member of four honor societies (one of which she is president of). Sara works on campus in the disability resource center where she administers tests with accommodations and advocates for those looking to go to college and may not think it is possible.
Last Spring Sara was given the opportunity to be a creator for One Spark in Jacksonville. One Spark is a crowd funding festival where people from all over vote on their favorite creations and donate money to them. Sara's program, Project CLOSER, was her own idea to benefit students with disabilities like herself to go to college. She will utilize nursing students seeking experience as the caretakers to eliminate the use of state agencies and funding. The goal of the program is to eliminate the obstacle to collegiate freedom and create a closer network project of student internships building student fellowships in the collegiate experience.