When Kathy was 12 years old, we had a very difficult year deciding on a program that would provide her the skills she would need for a happy and productive life. With each new program she attended for middle school, high school, transition, and then The College Experience, Kathy has grown by leaps and bounds. She has risen to the challenges she faced, and we could not be more proud of Kathy’s accomplishments.

It took some convincing for Kathy’s dad to realize The College Experience would be an excellent opportunity for her to become an independent young woman. He always said she could live with us at home “forever”. Well, home is in a rural area without easy access to transportation, employment, shopping, and entertainment.

Kathy was eager to be in the city where she could have easy access to all those things. She is very interested in trying all kinds of activities. Kathy’s confidence grew quickly as she learned to navigate the neighborhood and CDTA buses. She expressed a desire to take self-defense classes which was incorporated into a series for all the girls in her class. Kathy has developed a good sense for banking and money management, using her online banking website. She is cautious when making large purchases, and she even discovered a large error against her account made by the bank. Kathy makes a point to cook or choose nutritious items when eating out or at home.

Currently, she is volunteering at St. Peter’s Hospital which is a short walk from her apartment. Kathy lives in a lovely neighborhood where she is a “regular” at the Dunkin’ Donuts. She is so proud to have her own place. We are so impressed by Kathy’s happiness that she has living independently. We have a close extended family, and Kathy still loves to be with all of us for family get-togethers, but she likes to get back home to her own place.

Kathy’s dad unexpectedly passed away recently, but he was able to see her settled into a new life of her own choosing. We are so pleased with the opportunities and skills The College Experience provided for Kathy to discover her ability to make good choices, be independent, and establish a life of her own.



Parent to Kathleen, Class of 2009