UCLA recognizes Manitoulin alumnus for inspiring deeds

by Robin Burridge

LOS ANGELES—Sean Gjos, originally from Little Current, has been named as one of UCLA Anderson School of Management’s ‘100 Points of Inspiration,’ “a list of faculty and alumni whose approach to business, community and life is not business usual, but business beyond usual.”

The list came as part of the school’s 75th anniversary celebration. “This list illustrates the remarkable impact our alumni have had around the globe across all walks of life,” said Judy Olian, dean of UCLA Anderson School of Management, in a press release. “They inspire us all.”

“With over 37,00 alumni, it would be impossible to provide anything more than a window of illustrative experiences from the last 75 years,” added the school’s senior associate dean Al Osborne. “We believe, however, that this representation of the wide variety of contributions made by Anderson graduates both represents our traditions and will inspire future generations of alumni over the next 75 years.”

Mr. Gjos graduated from Anderson in 1999 with a MBA. He was selected for the ‘100 Points of Inspiration’ for “inspiring a foundation that is improving the lives of the disabled.”

During his time at UCLA, Mr. Gjos played for the school’s club hockey team where, in a national championship ice-hockey tournament, Mr. Gjos was checked into the boards and paralyzed from the waist down.

While at the hospital, his roommate and classmates Jim Young, Eric Eisner and Ralph Vogel became concerned for the costs that would face their friend during his recovery. Together with Mr. Gjos, they created the Spinal Cord Opportunities for Rehabilitation Endowment (SCORE), a foundation “to assist individuals paralyzed while participating in sports or recreational activities, with regaining independent, fulfilling lives.”

When Mr. Gjos learned that he had been selected for the ‘100 Points’ he said he was, “totally caught off guard.”

He explained that he had received a call from Mr. Osborne notifying him of his place on the list and that he was very surprised, but honoured.

“I feel that I am a product of my environment,” said Mr. Gjos. “Growing up on Manitoulin, I was surrounded with a positive community that helped make me who I am today.”

Mr. Gjos, who serves as the honorary chairperson of SCORE, told The Expositor that the foundation has “given a boost” to over 70 individuals to date, totalling over $750,000. In addition, SCORE has helped offset expenses associated with making homes accessible, physical therapy and purchasing adaptive sports equipment for athletes in need.