Taking positive Steps

Student shares experience in Steps program.

Max Hurley is a 19-year-old student at Vermont State University at Castleton in the College Steps program for those with learning and social challenges. He is currently taking an Intro to Communication course.  

Ever since the orientation, I’ve been excited to go to college. 

On the first day, I met all my professors and peer mentors. Then I got my schedule and I went to my first class. We were learning about communication. 

I thought it was really informative, but there were some details that I never knew and that inspired me to learn more. I realized that college was so much harder than all the other schools I’ve been to. Sometimes now and then, I ponder how my sister graduated. I learned to take it one step at a time, but it’s not easy. 

I must admit, I do like my peer mentors when they help me, but sometimes on the inside I always felt that I can do things myself to prove that I’m smart like all the others. 

However, I’m not shaming myself. Even the others have limits. I’m just saying I want to be smart enough to the point where I can figure out the assignment all on my own. 

Besides my personal preferences, I like that the college is so much bigger than my high school. I got lost multiple times to the point where I asked my sister how to navigate the school and she used a map on her lock screen. 

I love community class with Jasmine and Sa Me there and we talk about things like respecting other people and other basic things. The one thing I like about it is new details about the same subject so I can memorize easier, which makes it easier to talk with my friends if I focus hard enough. 

I like how there are lots of clubs I signed up for even though I don’t check my email because most of the time it’s filled with random stuff. That’s one reason why I don’t like to check my email. 

I also like that there’s a game room inside the Fireside Cafe where we play pool and others play ping pong. I find it very creative how you use your ID to enter the library to check out books and go to certain areas. 

I find it interesting how there’s a new grading system like the ones in movies, and it is not pass or fail. 

– Max Hurley

To learn more about the College Steps program, visit collegesteps.org

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