We are always overjoyed when people in the public notice the benefits of our College Experience as well as the various services and programs offered throughout Living Resources, Inc. But sometimes we are floored by larger-than-life circumstances that arrive with the passion of a euphoric thunderclap!
Everybody involved with our agency would like to show tremendous appreciation to Jim DeFelice and Taya Kyle who praised our programming in their new anthology titled, “American Spirit” that profiles at least thirty unsung or already-famous American heroes who are making a difference.
We are mentioned in a chapter called, “Getting Past Barriers” that profiles the turbulent experiences and accomplishments of Jesse Saperstein who has been employed by the College Experience since June 2015 and lives with Asperger’s syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum. Jesse’s main position is serving as our Media and Activities Liaison even though he maintains several other roles within Living Resources, Inc.
Jim DeFelice is the co-author of the memoir, “American Sniper: Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,” which profiles the endeavors of Chris Kyle whose life was tragically cut short due to having been murdered by a fellow soldier suffering from severe PTSD as well as other mental health struggles. The book was adapted into the 2014 Clint Eastwood-directed movie, “American Sniper” starring Bradley Cooper. It was nominated for six Academy Awards and ultimately won for Best Sound Editing. Taya Kyle is the bestselling author of the 2015 memoir, “American Wife” in addition to serving as a contributor for Fox News and one of the judges of the Miss American Pageant in 2015!
Living Resources, Inc. and the College Experience is mentioned on Page 100 in “American Spirit” in this passage:
Oddly, for a long time he resisted helping his peers with the condition. Maybe it was too close to home; maybe he felt they should figure things out for themselves as he did.
All that changed a few years ago, when he took a job as the social media and activities liaison with the College Experience (www.thecollegeexperience.org), a two-year, nondegree program at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York (www.livingresources.org), the program helps young men and women with intellectual disabilities prepare for independence by teaching them critical life skills. It includes a specially tailored curriculum at Saint Rose and internship program with local businesses. Part of his job involves working with the alumni program, organizing and leading outings, and overseeing the alumni community volunteer programs. He also teaches creative writing classes and helps train new employees.
“The best teachers [for others with Asperger’s and similar conditions] can be people who have been through it,” he notes. One thing he tries to do is advise others to learn from his mistakes, rather than making them on their own – good advice for all of us.
The best way to purchase “American Spirit” is through any independent book retailer in the hope you will support local businesses or Amazon.com/Barnes & Noble if a local bookstore is not an option. We are all extremely flattered and honored that these prominent authors have chosen to open their hearts to our program and are promoting us to a national audience in their inspirational book. “American Spirit” will be released this Tuesday, April 2nd, which also happens to be Jesse’s 37th birthday, by coincidence!
Jesse Saperstein credits the College Experience for finally allowing him to build an independent life at the age of 33 in our sprawling State Capitol. He also appreciates the fact that Living Resources, Inc. and the College Experience chooses to “walk the walk” by hiring qualified individuals as staff members including David Lieberman who became our first former student to serve as a staff in the fourteen year history of the College Experience!