Commencement season could have handed, however there are some accomplishments price celebrating any time of yr. Take Cody Sullivan’s story, for example.
When Sullivan graduated from Concordia College in Portland, Oregon, earlier this yr, he was the primary pupil with Down syndrome to finish 4 years of faculty in Oregon.
It was a seed he planted again in highschool, spurred on by the hopes and goals of his classmates.
“My senior yr of highschool all my mates had been speaking about school. I like to be taught, and my mates had been going to varsity,” he instructed MNN through e mail this week. “I requested my mother and he or she helped me determine how I might go to varsity too! It was a primary in Oregon for somebody who has Down syndrome!”
His mother, Ann Donaca-Sullivan, says she was shocked when he approached her with the thought.
“Actually, I used to be utterly blown away,” she mentioned. “Cody has all the time been the instigator in his inclusive life. We have discovered to comply with his lead and to simply accept that something is feasible. He is an inspiration and a trailblazer!”
Donaca-Sullivan labored with Concordia College and Think College Inclusion Oregon Coalition to develop a pilot program. She mentioned she wasn’t shocked there weren’t any all-inclusive higher-education applications already in place.
“For all of Oregon’s essential causes, that is one which has significantly lacked the sunshine. Folks with developmental/mental disabilities want increased training which leads them to a profession … not only a job.”
With loads of teamwork, they helped create a program to assist Sullivan excel.
“Cody’s new mates had been the important thing,” Donaca-Sullivan mentioned. “They instantly understood the worth for THEM, of getting Cody of their lives in school and eternally.”
Settling into school life
Sullivan, 22, actually appeared to benefit from the school expertise.
“Well being, Math, Weight Coaching and Handbells had been a few of my favourite courses. I cherished all of my courses,” he mentioned. “I really like learning and doing homework. In school, my favourite issues had been making and hanging with mates, being in luaus with the Aloha Membership, serving to coach basketball, and consuming within the cafeteria!”
His mother mentioned he actually appeared to take pleasure in being part of the varsity group.
“There have been some bumps … like the quantity of money he spent consuming within the cafeteria!” she mentioned. “The chums and other people at Concordia made a huge effect on his life. I am positive they might agree that HE made a bigger influence on THEIR lives.”
Sullivan was the focal point at commencement, receiving a standing ovation when he acquired his certificates of feat in elementary training.
“My mates cheered for me!” he mentioned. “Commencement day was thrilling. We had a giant celebration at my home! We had been hoping that folks would discover. It is essential that extra folks like me get to go to varsity.”
Sullivan now has a job as a kindergarten instructor’s aide, however he plans to proceed his training.
“I’m going to take extra courses as a result of I prefer to be taught. I need to assist discrimination cease. Inclusion Issues! For all folks!”