New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) presented Ms. Jeanie Waters, Esq. from Rockville Centre with the New York State Senate Achievers’ Award during the 26th annual Senate Disability Awareness Day at the State Capitol in Albany on May 23rd. This award recognizes the recipient's ability to overcome personal and physical challenges and celebrates both their accomplishments and contributions to the community.
"Jeanie is an achiever in every sense of the word and is truly deserving of this award," said Senator Skelos. "She is an inspiration who hasn’t allowed her physical limitations to limit her in any way and, by sharing her talent and time with young people, she’s helping them fulfill their potential."
Ms. Waters was born with Muscular Dystrophy. At age 17, she broke her upper spine, paralyzing many of her lower body functions. Demonstrating leadership at a young age, she became a representative on the Rockville Centre Economic Opportunity Commission’s ("EOC") Board of Directors. In addition, she helped start a new program promoting legal rights for handicapped youth. From 1973 through 1983, Ms. Waters worked for the Rockville Centre EOC in various youth-related activities.
A truly remarkable woman, Jeanie Waters is an attorney, auto mechanic and athlete who has represented the United States at three Para Olympic Games (1988, 1992 and 1996). In 1988, Jeanie won two bronze medals and, during the 1992 Para Olympics in Barcelona, she won the gold medal in the 200 meter race and a silver medal in the 400 meter competition. Ms. Waters earned a silver medal at the 1996 Para Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Jeanie often speaks at local high schools, colleges and civic organizations about physical and attitudinal barriers encountered by these individuals and helps each group learn ways to overcome these obstacles. During the summer, she coaches young wheelchair athletes for the New York State Games for the Physically Challenged.
When not training for world-class wheelchair competitions, Ms. Waters spends her time encouraging others with disabilities and volunteering to help youth at Rockville Centre EOC. She is also a member of the Nassau County Criminal Courts Bar Association.