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Want to go to college, or do you know someone who wants to go to college? Are there people in your life who gave up hope about the possibility of going to college or making it through even one college class? If you answered yes to any of these questions, College Plus may be the answer!! “Sarah”, a student with College Plus for the Spring 2016 semester, hadn’t been to college for 10 years and was reluctant to go even after applying with College Plus a few years ago. She attempted at one point, but had to take a medical withdrawal. In 2016, with the help and support of Caren, the College Plus Leader, Sarah decided this time she was ready to go. Her strong desire for a career change provided an incentive as well.
College Plus students identify career/education goals, and Sarah identified hers was to advance in the medical field. She has been working as a Certified Nurses’ Assistant (CNA) for several years and was ready for a change. Sarah enrolled in a Medical Terminology class, which she thought would be difficult – and it was! Sarah said College Plus gave her the confidence she needed to continue and finish the class reporting she was “pretty overwhelmed at first”. She made it through with the peer support from Caren and others who gave her encouragement, positive affirmations and overall confidence.
Sarah finished the Medical Terminology class at Bucks County Community College with an A. Since the class and gaining the confidence, Sarah applied for two new jobs working in a hospital using her CNA experience and the skills she learned from the college class. She is awaiting the outcome of those applications as this blog is being published.
College Plus was happy to help Sarah and remains inspired by her story and perseverance. Sarah came to College Plus with a Bachelor’s Degree, yet she had many challenges to work through to finish that degree having been diagnosed with a mental illness when she was 20. Throughout the years, she continued to be resilient through trials and tribulations, and she remains a strong example of recovery.
Sarah’s words of wisdom to someone who is thinking about going to college but is reluctant: “It might seem really challenging, and it can be, but you will definitely feel good about yourself when you are done. College Plus gives you support and encouragement and somebody to talk to through the class. They even give you suggestions for studying. When you have a mental health diagnosis – everything can be harder, but you can do it!!!” We thank Sarah for sharing her story.
Voice and Vision is pleased to announce for our fifth year in a row, College Plus received a grant from the Joseph Jocelino Gaskill Education Fund through The Philadelphia Foundation. The amount we received this year was $3,372.94. The fund was established in 2010 by Joseph and Almerinda Gaskill in honor of their late son.
With this grant and money received through a contract with the Bucks County Department of Mental Health and Developmental Programs, Voice and Vision’s College Plus Initiative funds and supports people who have mental illness and/or co-occurring disorders to go to College and live out their college/career dreams. College Plus will be supporting a total of 12-15 people at Bucks County Community College in the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters. Please consider donating to this worthy cause so we can help more people in 2017. Thank you.
Hi, I’m Kathryn Lerro, mother of two lovely daughters, wife of one fine man.
After 24 years of wandering (thanks to my husband’s Air Force career), we are back home on the East Coast. We currently live in Philadelphia where I enjoy writing, taking long walks, decorating my front window in South Philly tradition, talking to interesting people and eating great food.
As I’ve met people on my travels I’ve become keenly aware that most of us could use a healthy dose of encouragement. It is for this reason that I try to weave a message of hope into everything I write.
Hi, I am Melinda Haas, but you can call me Mindy. A true introvert, I delight in solitude with a good book or a movie. I like dabbling in nature photography while taking rigorous hikes. I adore my husband who is a ton of fun. He shares my wanderlust as well as my appetite for Indian and Thai food. Very often, you’ll find us dancing to Cumbia in the kitchen while we make dinner. We also love road tripping and exploring new places. (New England is our new favorite!)
Through my writing, I want to encourage and embolden others to push past the limits they place on themselves. I want to help people see that they can accomplish more than they think they were capable of.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website and blog is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to inspire, educate, offer hope and in some instances challenge attitudes and beliefs promoted in our society. We also provide information about Voice and Vision’s services and connections to basic resources in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, counseling, or treatment or cannot be used for identification of a diagnosis. Please seek help from a qualified physician or professional with any questions you may have regarding a physical, emotional or mental health condition, disability, or addiction.
Please note: The views and opinions expressed by the authors on the blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Voice and Vision, Inc. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.