CIP Amherst: 2015 Convocation
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CIP Amherst: 2015 Convocation

The following is a special needs program update from Asperger’s & LD College Programs. You may also click here to read the original article on the main program website.

IMG_7276 copyBy Christine Ryan, PhD
Program Director, CIP Amherst

On Friday, May 8, 2015, family, friends, and community members gathered at the CIP Amherst center for its annual Convocation and Awards Ceremony. The event was all about celebrating the efforts and hard work of our students and the goals and accomplishments they attained throughout the year. The program began with a welcome by Amherst Program Director Dr. Christine Ryan, where she fondly reflected upon her first six months in the position and her pleasure of working with all of the CIP students and staff. Second year student, Sam C., then took to the podium to share some of his favorite highlights from the 2014-15 year, including the areas in which he met some of his personal goals and made the most progress.

The awards portion of the program began with Victoria Biligovskaya, Career Coordinator, presenting the Member of the Community Award to Mireille Schapiro of the Amherst Center for Senior Services. Victoria then presented the Internship Sponsor of the Year Award to Tammy Jacobs of Amherst Meals on Wheels, Inc. Each of the women who were honored has gone above and beyond in terms of providing quality internship opportunities, accommodating our students and job coaches at their organizations, providing open and honest feedback, and their strong support of the CIP mission to inspire independence in our students. All of our students and staff thanked them for their enthusiastic support and we look forward to continuing our work together in the future.

The awards continued with the following students receiving awards for their accomplishments throughout the year:

Upper Class Student of the Year: David G
First Year Student of the Year: Michael C
Academic Award: Hannah C
Career Award: Aiden S
Community Service Award: Sam C
Peer Relationship Award: Ben B
Wellness Award: Ben K
Creative Arts Award: Alex D
Life Skills Award: Michael C

To conclude the awards portion of the program, third year student Alex D., (a Music Industry major) used the Figure music-making app on his iphone to instantly create and perform an original music track for the audience to enjoy.

Members of the CIP Amherst Student Senate were recognized for their work throughout the year as were our Admissions Ambassadors who are instrumental during prospective student visits. Future alumni who are moving on from CIP were also celebrated. Recent CIP Alumnus, Aiden S., brought the event to a close with an inspirational speech about how his time at CIP prepared him for a successful transition to living independently in the community and attending college. Aiden shared his words of wisdom with the current students and encouraged them to make the most of all of the services available at CIP.

In the end, the students were applauded for all of their accomplishments and the parents were very proud of their son’s and daughter’s efforts and hard work. It was a great event and a good time was had by all!

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