The afternoon of Thursday, December 6, 2018 was very exciting for College Experience staff, Jennifer Richard and Jesse Saperstein who serve as the Director and the Media & Activities Liaison, respectively. They had the privilege of enjoying lunch with Heather Kuzmich at The Standard Restaurant located in the Crossgates Mall.
Heather is not only an incredible person and autism advocate, but she placed fourth in America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 9 in 2007. America’s Next Top Model is a national television show with the supermodel and TV host, Tyra Banks serving as a mentor for contestants. Heather is phenomenal for many reason and what make her accomplishments even more profound is that she is on the autism spectrum with a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome.
Heather chose to be open about her condition during the filming of the TV show. She has also received press coverage on Good Morning America, the New York Times, and was interviewed by People Magazine on two occasions.
During our lunch we learned a great deal about Heather’s challenges and successes. She has a wealth of experience to share the world and we discussed her making a visit to the College Experience to speak to our students about the realities of celebrity stature and the hard work that is necessary to even have a fighting chance to achieve such success.
Most important, our challenges will always serve as barriers unless we choose to put in the work necessary to surmount any life hurdles. We will always encourage our students to pursue their dreams whether it is becoming a professional singer or movie star. But the College Experience will also give them the practical life skills that will carry them far if some of these ambitions may not come to fruition.
We thank Heather for taking time out of her schedule to learn about our innovative program!