Bridging’s first peer mentor
“I was a Bridging student during its first year at CCS. I was familiar with CCS as a new member of Champlain Voices, the self-advocacy group. Bridging gave me the opportunity to really connect with other students, and schools, and to get out into the community and meet people like I would never have imagined otherwise. I learned about leadership, and becoming Bridging’s first advocacy group president helped shape my career with GMSA (Green Mountain Self-Advocates).
Although I’ve been involved with Bridging in some capacity each year since it started at CCS, I never imagined six years after being a student, I would become Bridging’s first ever Peer Mentor.
My role as peer mentor involves working with each learning pod in such areas as learning how to use public transportation, friends and relationship classes, going to different places in the community, and much more. Having a peer mentor in Bridging was unthinkable when I was a student. To be several years into the program and to have the next generation of students look up to someone who has a disability, that is out in the adult world, feels so rewarding. Someone who inspires them and can appreciate each student for who they are. It’s been amazing to see these students grow and develop right in front of my eyes.”