The story behind the story:
Dr. Murphy picked up the phone that August morning of 2018 and after hearing Stefan’s story and full disclosure of his challenges, we met the following week. Stefan, Karen Ollie, Stefan’s champion family and cheer leader, Susan Foard (Education Director) and myself. We walked in and Stefan, who is instinctive in his ways felt comfortable and smiled all the way to the office. I immediately felt at ease as I also feed off my clients’ body language and instincts.
When we met Dr. Cheryl and Dr. Sheffield Townsend, I knew we were in the right place. They spoke to Stefan directly, encouraging him and us as to what the course and licensing entails, helpful with resources and with so much positive energy I could only do as Stefan, smile from ear to ear.
We left there with a celebratory mood. The next communications and meetings resulted in:
A 75% discount as this was new territory for both parties, but with the ultimate goal to get Stefan through the program at his pace, with our support and Dr. Townsend’s explicit instruction.
A barber start-up kit that Stefan held on his lap for an hour’s drive from Martinsville to Roanoke!
Stefan receiving what he is entitled to, what he wanted and tried to tell everyone for 7 years: vocational opportunity with further education and access to equal opportunity.
Now know this:
Stefan was not privy to a general education per se. Therefore study skills, test-taking strategies and doing homework were not skills he knew or had experienced.
Over the past 4 weeks I taught him the first four chapters, as per instructions from his instructor at Miracle University. (4th chapter is still being studied)
We learned together: read the chapters, took notes, studied sample questions, did homework, and studied using index cards, notes and sticky notes. Yes he did!
Oral test: read to, responds orally and does not see test
Read to: tester reads and student follows and responds on paper
Independently: reads and responds himself
Practical: Stefan had his much awaited first practical and was so excited he said, “Dr. B. I am so excited I can’t breathe!” But this was a Stefan who was happy, excited and showing us his dream has come true.
You can do it Stefan!
Thank you Miracle University for dignifying disability