By Kyle Dierking and Travis Meyer, The News On 6
BROKEN ARROW, OK -- Across Oklahoma, high school and college graduates are receiving their diplomas. Broken Arrow's David Moran didn't let cerebral palsy keep him from earning his meteorology degree. He credits News On 6 chief meteorologist Travis Meyer for inspiring his success.
"He took the time to listen to me and talk to me about weather when others I tried to talk to seemed to just brush me off as just some kid," said David Moran.
"A lot of people when they talk to David assume because he has a disability that he's not an intelligent person. They cut his sentences off and finish his sentences for him. Travis is one where he would let David sit there, let him finish talking, then answer the question. That means a lot. That's important for somebody like David," said his mother, Michele Moran.
The News On 6 was honored when David's professors invited us to his graduation this past Saturday to watch him complete a journey many believed impossible. It was a short distance from David's seat to the stage. But, the steps David Moran took to get his meteorology degree were made up of millions of miles.
"The first day of class, the professor walked in and said, 'look at the person to the left of you and then look at the person to the right of you. Two of you won't make it through the program,'" said David Moran.
David was the one who made it. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, doubters tried to bring down the bright boy from Broken Arrow on his dream of becoming a meteorologist.
"I've had teachers, especially math and science teachers, tell me I wouldn't make it past high school algebra," said David Moran.
David earned a meteorology degree and one in math, too, from the University of Oklahoma. He's also the first college graduate in his family.
"A lot of people assume that David couldn't graduate from high school, nevertheless major in math and meteorology. He's proving to a lot of people, 'I did it. Look at me now,'" said David's mother, Michele Moran.
"David is one of us you could say. Students that come in and you see that desire and heart, you realize that is the career that is in their destiny. I saw that from David from day one. He has a real excitement for the atmosphere and a passion to learn and understand how it works and to apply it in real world situations," said Kelvin Droegemeier, Professor of Meteorology.
During his time at OU, David worked at the National Weather Center and is also the chief meteorologist of the Oklahoma Internet Weather Center, a website he helps run. It goes well with his favorite thing about meteorology, forecasting.
"Not two forecasts are exactly alike with the exception of summer. It's a hundred plus degrees for a month straight," said David Moran.
David will spend the hot summer months looking for a job in meteorology. But first, there's a chance to reflect and celebrate.
"The number one thing is, I did it," said David Moran.
"Now we're excited to find out what the next step is. He's got the degrees. He's got the intelligence. Now, what's the next chapter in his life going to bring?" said Michele Moran.