Monday, August 19, 2013

New Chapter

I have some very good news. I am starting college in just a couple of weeks! 

Two years ago I was accepted into a government program that helps people with disabilities get back to work and I have tried very hard to meet all the challenges involved in the program. I almost gave up a few different times in sheer frustration but here we are at the next phase and I am still hanging in there.

I am not able to return to the type of work I used to do, so my vocational team and I knew that we would have to explore new options.  I took a computer class, I did a week of vocational testing and presented doctor reports. We worked on creating a new resume, we interviewed several people about what their careers were like and we came up with a short list of options for me. I was particularly interested in Recreational Therapy.

My counselor told me that it was possible that I would qualify for retraining. The local college offers a nine month certificate program, so we met with the disability counselor for the college and discussed my options and supports I would have if I went back to school. Last January I took a night school course that is a credit for the program. I found the course difficult, but it showed some of the problems that I will need to address in the future. I put in an enormous amount of work and got a great mark so that was proof that I can indeed handle school in spite of my cognitive issues! The vocational program also arranged for me to volunteer for six weeks at a hospital based personal care home helping with the Recreational Therapy program and also with the Spiritual Care program. I needed to prove to myself and to the government that I have some attitude for that kind of work and I also needed to be assured that I could find the endurance to work half days. 

I choose to continue volunteering for  the hospital past my required commitment and I have now done over a hundred hours of service. I am loving it more and more all the time and feel confident that I will enjoy that kind of work and be good at it.

Last month I got notification that I was accepted into the college program and that I would be fully funded. Yippeeeeee!

I will start the full time program in Therapeutic Recreation for Older Adults in three weeks. It will be seven  months of  in-class training followed by two months of work placements in the community.

I am excited and anxious about going to college. I still have a long way to go before I have a paying job ... but I think that I am up to the challenge with support from the counselors, teachers and especially my family and friends.

Wish me luck!


Barb Polan said...

Congratulations, Linda! What a wonderful accomplishment.

I am very impressed that you have been so committed to finding a new career path, and now it's on the horizon.

I knew you could do it. Best wishes for all the future successes you will experience.

Sara G said...

That is Super!! Congratulations and best wishes! ~Sara

Rebecca Dutton said...

Your life experience will make you an excellent rec therapist for the elderly. Go for it.

Grace Carpenter said...

Congratulations! I wish you much luck. I'm sure you will be great.

Humpty Dumpty said...

You know I wish you the very best of luck and have confidence you will meet this new challenge as you have all the others. You go, girl! :)

Diane said...

Good luck! Though you probably don't need it, as I know you will do well!

Elizabeth, John and Jack said...

Wow!! Great job! I love your persistence and how you are always knocking down the road blocks. I wish you continued success along your path! Congratulations and best wishes.

Elizabeth, John and Jack said...

Wow!! Great job. I love ur persistence and how you never allow any road blocks to keep u from ur goals. Congratulations and best wishes!

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