Interview with an Alum

By Samantha Kolkey

One of our alumni, Nick, came into our new center to visit us!

Nick has a diagnosis of Asperger’s and depression.  He entered our residential program in the Fall of 2013 and stayed for two years.  He was kind enough to sit with me for a brief interview.

Nick, what is the thing you liked most about your time at Options for College Success?

“I liked the social activities.  I really liked going on the food outings and the big group activities downtown.”

What is one thing that you learned from the program that you still carry with you?

“Don’t give up.  Even when it seems hopeless, there are still reasons to get out of bed.”

What other things did you learn from your time with us?

Nick listed that he knows a lot about fixing cars from his classes at Oakton Community College. He worked on interviewing skills with our staff, and enjoyed this practice. Nick also learned to identify what is hard for him to do, and how to communicate this to those who can help him.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a student entering this program?

“When you first wake up, do whatever you need to do to get out of bed. Stay on the positive side. Embrace who you are and make the best of it, it could be your best asset.”

It is important to note that mental health issues can be co-morbid with learning challenges and other disabilities. Nick was able to work with our team on how his mental health issues impact his everyday functioning, along with his Asperger’s diagnosis.  Coordinating services with all service providers is imperative in creating and collaborating on an effective treatment plan.  #awareness

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Author: optionsforcollegesuccess

Options for College Success is incorporated as a 501(c) 3 not for profit organization. The population we serve are young adults with learning challenges and disabilities. Our program focuses on six areas of a student's life. We take an individualized approach to ensure that each student is able to realize their full potential. No cutting corners, just the help they need when they need it. www.optionsforcollegesuccess.org 847.425.4797

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