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Old Westbury Resident Named Valedictorian At NCC

Joshua Goodfarb, classified as ‘learning disabled’ at young age

It’s not every day that a college graduate with Asperger’s Syndrome is named valedictorian, but then again, Old Westbury’s Joshua Goodfarb isn’t your every day type of guy.

Goodfarb spoke about  his journey in front of more than 10,000 attendees at the Nassau Community College graduation ceremony on May 23, where he was given a standing ovation at the conclusion of his speech.

“In elementary school, I was first classified as ‘learning disabled’ and later diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. My teachers were extremely cautious in their assessment of my obtainable goals,” Goodfarb said, who noted his appreciation for his mother’s support in facing everyday challenges.

“My mother’s continued support and advocacy enabled me to effectively deal with the academic and personal obstacles that presented themselves,” Goodfarb added.

The valedictorian, who was recently named a SUNY Chancellor’s Award recipient and graduated NCC with a 4.0 GPA, was given high praises from the college’s president, Dr. Donald Astrab.

“Josh has inspired all of us to measure our reach by how much we can grasp with our hard work and our indomitable spirit,” Astrab said.

Goodfarb’s list of extra circulars and accomplishments is a direct reflection of that spirit: weekly sports broadcaster for the college radio station, participating sponsor for the Lustgarten Foundation’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Walk at Jones Beach, Wall Street Club, college orientation leader, Social Action Committee and more. To top it all off, Goodfarb works a part-time job, too.

The accomplished young man will attend St. John’s University in the fall and plans to pursue a career in medicine.

“To move forward we must give back,” Goodfarb said in his speech.

The Goodfarb family has also started a scholarship at the college to help other students who have learning disabilities, a spokesperson at NCC said.