School: Florida State University
Year: Fall 2014 – Present
Of all the challenges I have overcome in order to be the person I am today, the one that sticks out most is growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome. Growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome made social interactions and self-assessment super challenging. It especially made making friends in middle school difficult. However, possessing the necessity to judge my interactions with others helped me to be more sensitive to other people’s feelings, and how to keep an open mind about other people’s lives.
SSF has assisted me in the process of becoming the individual I am in this stage in my life by giving me more independence from my family, which has allowed me to explore my character a bit more deeply. While living at SSF I have learned how to advocate for myself and how to plan my own routines. I’ve learned important housekeeping skills like cooking simple meals and doing laundry. Living with 16 other guys has also helped me improve how I work with others, which is a skill I struggled with a lot in high school. I have not had any major struggles while living at SSF, but small day to day frustrations from school or personal life have made me realize that in a place like SSF, no matter how aggravating life gets, we are all there for each other.
I have been blessed with life-long friendships from housemates who have become like the brothers I never had.
To me, Education for Life literally means to learn how to live in the “real world.” Part of this lends itself to the organization and housekeeping skills that residents learn through work jobs, but the main emphasis of learning how to live in the “real world” comes from the community living aspect. Whenever the occasional drama comes up between us, our house manager reminds us that we don’t all have to be best friends, but that we do have to respect each other. It is inevitable that some disagreements will occur in a house of 17 or more, but learning how to handle those disagreements is what will prepare us to get along with others and respect and appreciate other points of view.
When I’ve graduated and moved on from the foundation, I hope to find an enjoyable worthwhile career, fall in love, get married and raise a family. Thanks to the skills and practices that I am learning here at SSF, I will know how to take care of my loved ones, and myself; how to work diligently; how to make difficult choices; and how to always be there for the people I love.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for you to be a part of Mathieu’s, and many others, Education for Life journey.
Learn more here: http://bit.ly/SSFSponsorship