Jeremy is a young man that has wanted to go to college since he was three years old. He did not have many words. However, those he did included "I am going to college!" Over the next three years, he would be repeatedly tested and eventually diagnosed with Autism. At the time, he was living Alaska and had AMAZING teachers that believed in him and saw his potential. Being a part of a military family, he had to leave this nurturing environment and would live in three more states before graduating from High School. Along this journey, he was exposed to educators and staff that not think he was capable of further education. At its extreme, he was written off and told to focus only on learning life skills. This was the sixth grade! He was pulled out of public school and taught privately for two years. When his military family could no longer afford the cost, he went back to public school. This time, he was able to test right into his grade level with the help of specific supports. However, in the state of Mississippi, there was doubt he would earn a diploma because specific scoring was required on statewide testing. His family moved again, right before his Junior year. In Illinois, he flourished. He graduated with a diploma and even earned his way onto the honor roll .
But, Jeremy needs your help. You see, Jeremy is the young person that can easily fall through the cracks. He is disabled but not enough to be dependent on the state....just enough to not quite be ready to be a functioning and productive member of society. His family has worried about what comes next for him because they've moved so frequently that hes never been in a state long enough to qualify for waiver programs that will help him transition into adulthood. He is at a critical point in his life where he can stop progressing and live with his family as they continue to travel the globe on the government's order, or he can start to developed some independence and attend a special program at the University of Missouri St. Louis. This is a certificate program designed specifically for individuals with developmental disabilities such as Autism, Down's Syndrome, and Traumatic Brain Injuries. The students take college courses in addition to vocational training, social skills, and life skills training. The program is perfect for young people that need more assistance than their typical peers but are still capable of contributing positively to society. The problem is, most financial aid programs, including the GI Bill, will not, at this time, help with funding.
Jeremy's family is determined to make this happen for him so that he does not fall through the cracks that so many military kids do. Can you help Jeremy gain some independence? Any help sending him to this very special college program would be greatly appreciated.