Thomas has autism spectrum disorder and ADHD, which made staying organized, paying attention, and making friends challenging at college. Now, the tools and organizational skills he has learned from the College Navigator Program help guide him as a student working toward his Early Childhood teaching certificate to become an educator and working two jobs.
Meet Bob Hoyt, College Navigator’s first college graduate! While receiving College Navigator services, he was able to meet his academic goals, connect with on campus services, and become more confident in himself. In spring 2020, Bob graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a B.A. in Liberal Arts with Art History and Philosophy concentration.
For Bo, the crushing weight of low expectations fueled his dream and determination to succeed. Bo, who has autism, dyslexia, and other physical and learning disabilities, entered 9th grade barely able to spell nor write more than three-to-four-word sentences. During middle school, a pivotal time in an adolescent’s growth and development, Bo was told by many adults that he wasn’t “smart” and would never “amount too much.” At the same time, his mother Cynthia was told to encourage her son to find work requiring minimal skills with good job security.
Stanley Cliche was diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome at a young age. When it came time to think about college, Stanley, now 19, had concerns about how he would handle the workload and adjust to college life. By aspiring to enter the college setting, Stanley was facing an environment that fundamentally does not support people with developmental disabilities. But, then he heard about Easterseals Massachusetts’ new College Navigator Program through Nancy Mader at the Federation for Children with Special Needs.
John Miller took full advantage of the unique supports of Easterseals Massachusetts' College Navigator program. With individualized tools and guidance from the program, he completed his first semester at Northern Essex Community College and is well on his way to reaching his goal of becoming a paraprofessional. Click to read more about his experience in College Navigator.
In late 2017, Easterseals MA was just about to launch a brand new innovative program called “College Navigator,” when they received a call from Easterseals California and Roseanne Walden, Adam's mother. Roseanne was in great need of an agency providing services specifically for students in higher education - a growing and critical unmet need. Click to read more about how the college navigator program helped Adam, a gifted cello player with autism, succeed in college. Adam was even featured in an HBO documentary as a child!