Mazes: A Student’s Perspective on Attainment and Identity
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Mazes: A Student’s Perspective on Attainment and Identity

by Madeline Denham

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

This question is asked to kids everywhere and to teens in their senior year of high school. Even now, in my last year of college, that one question still haunts me. It haunts everyone.

Madeline's perspective on attainment and identityTo me the question does not apply to a job or even a career. Right now I would answer, “I want to be me and all I can be.” College is just a step in my life. When I started college I thought: “Do not decide on a major now, take your time.” Ever since then I have found out more about myself than the material that was covered in any of my classes. I found that I was okay at math, and that my interests are more eclectic than I thought. Now, with one semester left of college, I see a door at the end of the tunnel. Although most see a light, I know there is never an end, just a completion of a goal and more to accomplish down the road. When I open this door I know there will be several paths to choose from highlighting the directions I can take, but they will all lead to other doors and tunnels like a maze. College was just like that and I have no regrets looking back at the paths I took to reach this point.

Life can be many things, but being the person I want to be is the most important thing to me. Jobs and classes are just side notes, something to do while being alive. Living with personality and humanity is what makes me feel alive. I choose to be me, to live up to my full potential as a person and to explore every aspect of who I am.

Newsletter Articles – July 2015

Pablo's graduation

Parents live with the eternal hidden concern of how their children will survive when they are gone. It is not lack of faith; it is simple mathematics. We race against time, we race toward wisdom and let life pass us by. However, wisdom alone cannot make our children independent, but a life well-planned and implemented does envision a better future. Imagine now the life of parents when their child has learning disabilities! All we want is to see them independent, prepared and most importantly, aware of what this world entails so that they can act accordingly.

Rona Schwartz, Director of the Katherine Thomas High School

We have all made it through school in some way, shape or form but how did we do it and what advice could we give to the next generation? Today, success is measured by outcomes, results, or grades, but what truly is success if not for the journey? Graduating from school may be the trophy, but the path to that point and the obstacles overcome are the real achievement. The sweat, blood, and tears that go into the recipe for success and the lessons learned along the way are the real measure of victory.

The Katherine Thomas School, located in Rockville, Maryland, is a non-public school for individuals with language-based learning disabilities. Their staff is made up of experts including Master’s level educators, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and social workers. These professionals come together every day to provide the best opportunities for learning and achievement for their students. Rhona Schwartz, Director of The Katherine Thomas High School, provided some key insights into the recipe for success that play a part in her students’ journeys through school.

Chase's Graduation - CLE

While graduation festivities for 2015 have come and gone, it is never too early to think about preparing for graduation. Here are the top five things you need to know for successful graduation planning.

Success for students with learning differences

What is success? How do you measure it? Although society, as a whole, has somewhat universal indicators of success (e.g., wealth, prestige, power, love), success is a benchmark that is assessed personally and individually. If you take ten different people and ask them how they would define success, they would give you ten different answers. Success is a vague, intangible term and many variables, such as age, experience, practice of faith, personality, educational level, and family values all contribute to the achievements that we hold most dear. In individuals with disabilities, the relativity of success is even more apparent than in the general population. Due to the individual challenges and personal struggles of this population, we often need to relook at our typical notions of success and make them more realistic. As someone who is in a position to support many students’ success, much of my work is geared toward helping our students set realistic benchmarks of achievement and celebrate their seemingly small, but hugely significant victories.

Stephanie Martin, President CLE

The core of CLE’s mission is to foster independence in the remarkable young adults we work alongside. Our services are individually tailored around the students’ needs and interests which allows our team to ‘Meet You Where Are.’ We pride ourselves in adapting our supports around the varying interests of students and the paths they desire to pursue.

From an academic standpoint, we have students pursuing 4-year degrees all the way to certificates in industries and fields they find meaningful to their growth and development. Last year, CLE had the pleasure of celebrating the accomplishments of students including: 13 students transferred to a 4-Year university; 16 students received an Associates or Bachelor’s Degree; 19 students earned certificates in their course of study; and 13 students received honors.

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This has been a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future. You may also click here to read the original article on the main program website.