Written by Jesse Saperstein, Habilitation Liaison
It is no secret that we keep the students of the College Experience Program (CEP) incredibly busy during each semester and Summer I session. We expect a lot from our students, and it can seem like a lot of work as students must become adjusted to group living, being away from home in a strange city, learning how to cook, and keeping up with the housekeeping of their residences. This is on top of all the new skills they are learning in a variety of classes. We push them because we are aware of our students’ potential and motivation is like a muscle that must be exercised continuously. But there are definitely plenty of moments filled with fun and leisure that punctuate the requirements of our program. One of those moments occurred in late June when the students celebrated their semi-formal at the local Elks Club.
As you can see for yourself in the photographs, not too many people know how to party as well as the students of CEP and scores of alumni who graced us with their dancing forms. As with everything they do, the students put a great deal of time and effort with creating the decorations that had a 1980s theme to them. Artificial candles surrounded by old-school, cassette tapes served as the centerpieces for the tables. Some of the students took photographs by a large banner featuring the virtual monsters from the Space Invaders video game. The best part of the night was seeing the students celebrate how they made it through an entire calendar year of triumphs, setbacks, victories, failure, exciting experiences, euphoria, typical fears, and occasional tears. It was the perfect end to the Summer I session and ideal start to a well-deserved vacation with their families. The entire staff and I wish to show our gratitude to the families who have remained our partners in helping the students succeed within the CEP. We always appreciate alumni coming out for such events and are hoping they will remain involved forever. They have much to offer our current students by sharing their hard-won wisdom.
The enchanted evening was capped with a choreographed dance sequence to the hit song, “Drop It Like It’s Hot” that was performed by the Hip Hop dance students.
Karaoke was also in the air by those who were brave enough to flaunt singing abilities. The best part of the night was seeing the staff and students come together outside of class as one unit in a social environment. We are, after all…full-blown adults with some similar interests and a desire to cut loose once in a while.
Enjoy the photographs as much as we enjoy our students!