The College Experience is touched to present to you a story about two alumni who fell in love during their time at the College Experience and ended up happily married. Kevin Steitzer and Lindsey Renko-Steitzer now live in an apartment complex in the suburban area of Albany along with a sprawling backyard boasting a few towering pine trees and a dog named Minnie.
Lindsey and Kevin actually met at College Experience open house before they were officially accepted to the College Experience. Kevin glanced over to Lindsey who immediately caught his eye. They even remember what the other one looked like that particular day. Kevin had on a Nike blue sweatshirt and blue jeans and braces. Lindsey has on a Saint Rose T-shirt and a pair of jeans After this first encounter, Kevin said to his parents, “One day I am going to date that woman.” As Kevin puts it so well, “The rest is history!”
They first locked eyes with each other back in 2010 and had tried casually dating each other for a while before making it official on April 14, 2011. One of their first dates was at Variety Pizza.
While in the College Experience, Kevin and Lindsey both interned at the Albany Medical Center in which they served as Transporters taking patients by wheelchair to their respective appointments and surgeries. They worked there during the fall semester and found it to be a fast-paced, but character-building position.
During the spring semester, Lindsey went on to serve as a customer service representative at the Madison Theatre where she helped serving beverages, making popcorn, and getting people candy. She says, “I did not mind sweeping up the floors and putting the oil in the popcorn machine. I liked the environment and going home smelling like popcorn!”
Kevin accepted an internship in Niskayuna in which he became an apprentice plumber. He admits there were challenges because “it was fast-paced, and I had to remember where everything was in the warehouse. It was a good learning experience, though.”
Kevin believes that people should try the College Experience because, “They teach a lot of good skills such as math, how to deposit a check, how to take the bus, and shopping for food so you do not pay too much.” Lindsey says, “I would definitely recommend the College Experience because some people with disabilities could go to a regular college, but the College Experience is easier and they have one-on-one instruction for different subjects and you can take your time and if you need help they will help you. Lindsey was living with three different people in one of the houses and learned the importance of, “Just kind of accepting people’s flaws because you cannot really do anything. Learn how they operate just to make things peaceful.” They both gave the tip of marking your food and learning who bought what, so you do not end up eating other people’s food.
The College Experience taught them how to get around Albany by acing the walking trails and about being safe while walking and taking the CDTA Busses. The program helped with cooking, although Kevin and Lindsey laughingly admit to saving time once in a while by just putting premade meals in the oven. But they made the best roasted vegetables the evening before their interview and made Rao’s pasta with sauce that sticks to the pasta. As Lindsey put it, “It is from Italy, so you know it is good.” The College Experience also helped them with being on-time because Lindsey does not like having people wait for her and wasting their time. Lindsey gets to her doctor’s appointments early and Kevin says, “I learned how to make appointments as far as writing them down and calling them up to make sure when the next appointment is.”
Kevin and Lindsey gave excellent advice when asked how to maintain a healthy romance. Lindsey says she is very honest with Kevin and does not keep secrets from him. If something is bothering Lindsey, she tells Kevin right away. Kevin insists, “Communication is huge. If we have one argument, we will get mad at each other, but we know we love each other and that is never going to change.” The couple explains they are “tic-tac sized arguments” in the sense they do not last very long and are resolved pretty quickly.
Lindsey goes on to explain, “I love certain shows like SpongeBob. Kevin could watch cooking for hours. We laugh at each other and are very comfortable with each other. It is what makes our relationship so good in the sense that we are very comfortable with each other and understand each other.” Kevin adds, “If you told me before the program that I would meet somebody, I would not believe it.” They have known each other for eleven years, have been together for ten years, and will be married for three years come next wedding anniversary on April 14, 2021.
Kevin proposed to Lindsey in the beginning of April 2017 at The Crossings in Colonie. Lindsey asserts that she knew Kevin was going to propose because he asked to go back and see the ducks. Lindsey said, “But didn’t we just see the ducks earlier today?” When Kevin inevitably got down on one knee to pop the question, a whole crowd had gathered and about thirty or forty people clapped in unison when the proposal took place. Kevin and Lindsey were married on April 14, 2018 – exactly one year from when they were engaged.