Despite a passion for learning and a desire to go to college, Alex struggled during his first year at Pasadena City College. Between navigating campus, figuring out where classes were, and how to get to them on time, Alex was left frustrated. He would often go straight from school to work then to the tutor center at Pasadena City College, but still leave feeling overwhelmed. It was especially difficult during classes like photography, which Alex loves. Yet, he had a hard time navigating the dark room, and spending time in the confined, small space.
A year later, he was introduced to Nick, a coach in the AbilityFirst College to Career program through the PCC Department of Disability and began a new way of thinking. Nick, and another coach Miles, have helped Alex get out of his comfort zone and try new techniques and ways of testing his artistic abilities. He loves not just photography, but typography and calligraphy. His favorite style of design and storytelling is “fantasy fiction” and he hopes to one day be a fan fic writer and artist.
While he was conflicted and frustrated with his first year of college, he has now become confident and much happier. Alex’s coaches have helped him to connect with a lot of new friends, some with shared interests like design, artistry, and photography. Thanks to the College to Career program, Alex has come out of his shell and is more open to exploring new ways of doing things.
More recently, Alex received two certificates of achievement in Digital Media and Graphic Design. He also has plans to finish his Associate’s degree in Studio Arts, then transfer to either Art School of Design or Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Games, and Animation.
About his experience in the College to Career program, Alex says, “I did pop a couple veins along the way and got impatient at times, but I am much happier now and more open-minded. Although I am getting out of my shell, no hugs please.”
The AbilityFirst College to Career program provides year-round support to students who demonstrate the desire and potential to succeed in a post-secondary educational environment in order to accomplish their educational or career goals.