Wednesday, July 06, 2011

When I Get to Step In -- FUN!

After blogging a whiny blog the other day about having to sit back and do nothing, I figured I should update you that sometimes I get to step in and how much I love it when I can do that without feeling pressured.

Here are a couple of examples. Three years ago I insisted that Jimmy switch from the college track to the Special Ed Vocational Rehabilitation track. Predicting a bleak academic future, I was right on the money. He told me that if you would think it was funny I could tell you all on the blog that he graduated with a 1.4 GPA, but he DID graduate. And he graduated 198th in a class of 204. I guess being the competitor I am, that I would have made it my goal to be last if I was going to be that close, but he's just glad to have graduated on time and have that diploma!

Because I stepped in and had that set up, he has been on a work track for the last two years. Each quarter he worked at a different place to include the grocery store, Hobby Lobby, a thrift store, Shopko, etc. His favorite job though was on campus at our local state university in their dining room. He got to help in the kitchen sometimes as well and he really liked it.

So it was wonderful news to hear that they requested him to return to work for him full time in the fall! A real job and one that he loves. Plus, it will allow him to be around kids his age -- like being in college without going to class! He is a very social person so this will be awesome. So last week I went to his orientation with him and he will start work mid August.

Today I was figuring out Rand's account -- he lives here with the understanding that he will pay rent because he is working full time, and he will get his food and transportation covered by doing a few chores. But the other condition is that we manage his money. Today I realized that he had enough money saved to pay for a college class.

Why would he just take one class? Because in 2007 when he graduated from High School he went to technical college. His HIgh School IEP was sent there, but he never used special services, wanting to do it on his own. He went full time and ended up with a on academic probation. He never failed a class but had pretty consisted line of C- grades. So he was put on academic probation and lost his financial aid.

I got this idea a couple months ago once he had secured a full time job that he probably could get through school. Having a background in higher ed, I figured if he could take a class or two he could get his GPA up enough to finish school. And today was the day that suddenly I was ready to help him get back in school.

Turns out after a few phone calls, that he has a 1.97 and all he needs is a 2.0 to get his GPA high enough to get his financial aid back. One class, for $500, and if he got an A or B in the class he could reapply for financial aid and possibly finish the degree. He's over halfway to a diploma and over 1/3 of the way to an associates already.

So he's picking up an appeal application to get off academic probation, he already has the money saved for the class, and we've even found a 3 credit class that meets one night a week and still has openings. I think within another year and a half he might have a degree and could spend his life doing something he really enjoys. He started the program in culinary arts and he loves being in the kitchen.

So I was feeling pretty good about that hour of time this morning when I got this text from Ivan -- remember him? He lived with us a couple summers ago and he's living with us again this summer. He is in summer school and he texted me (and I type the conversation between he and I below exactly -- typos included)

Hey -- were talking about you guys Fletcher family.

At school?


Bad or good?

Good good


Talking about how nice/kind of you and Bart giving the kids a better/good life. ANd I said oh I'm staying with them for the summer. Teacher said oh lucky you there a good family and I said YES THEY ARE! (:

WOw, that's kinda cool. Wee love you too. :-)

It's so tiring to hear all the negative that gets said about and us and our kids on a regular basis, so to know that the alternative school has teachers that see us as good people feel that way ... Now THAT made my day!


nancy said...

Way to go! So glad Jimmy and Rand have your help...and the rest of your kids. Remind Jimmy who first taught him the English word "careful". It was Gus, as Jimmy "helped" him repair windows at the orphanage. Gus must have needed to repeat it enough to Jimmy, as he wielded a hammer nearby...most probably right under Gus' elbow. Can't you just picture it? And the wildest "kid party" I ever had was at the Radisson with Jimmy, Cecelia, Rosalba, and our Mitch. Also turned into the longest two hours of my life, trying to keep my eyes on all those busy young people. I had been so thrilled to see Haydee exit the van, followed by each of those kids. I was equally as thrilled to see her return in two hours!

Congrats to Jimmy on his graduation and his awesome new job. And best wishes to Rand on pursuing a degree. And congrats to you Mom.

Nancy in Iowa

gerrinrick said...

That'll put a smile on your face and in your heart, for sure!
I will pray and think about you guys thru the appeal. I just went thru this with my daughter Sam that you met in Oklahoma. She was sucsessful in the apeal and will return to college this Fall. We also found out about a program that she will have to interveiw for, as they only take a limited number of students. You must have one of the following: A disability, Have lived or living in poverty, or a first generation college student. When accepted, she will have a new network of supportive people to help her be supported at her community college level, and help her in the progress of transferring to a four year college. They offer additional tutoring, workshops for test taking, studying and ect.. They also have trips to other college campuses to tour. We are hopeful that she will do well in her interveiw and be accepted. This is called Student Support Services, and at our school it is limited to 125 students. It might be something of interest to your son. Anyway, good luck!
Gerri from Oklahoma