College is Possible

Learn more about the college experience from our dynamic group of Missouri students and their personal success stories.

Student Success Stories

Meet current students and graduates of inclusive college programs in Missouri. Their stories describe how college prepared them for independent living, further education, and the workplace.


In college, David learned that he loves science after he took astronomy classes, attended weekly Astronomy Club meetings, and mentored high school students enrolled in the classes. When he wasn’t busy studying stars, David participated in his campus Enactus student organization, helping to solve community problems through entrepreneurship. His goal is to teach science.


As a college student, Jackson sharpened his percussion skills in two campus-based jazz and world music ensembles and served an internship at Kauffman Performing Arts Center. Now a junior, Jackson’s major is in art and theatre. He’s exploring ways to blend the two in a career.


Before college, Mariel spoke mostly in quick phrases and had a hard time focusing. While in her college program she excelled at theatre and art classes, and her attention to detail grew. By the end of her program, Mariel spoke in full sentences, created powerful presentations for classes, and had learned to play piano. She has continued piano lessons and performance recitals after graduation, as well as her volunteer position with a local senior center. 


A lover of all sports, Nina went to college and studied the physics of football, basketball, hockey, and track – and other subjects. To help her absorb the most from the class, her professor extended the eight-week class to 15 weeks. Nina earned a “B” in the class. Now, when she goes to her job as a ticket taker for the Kansas City Chiefs, she is ready to discuss just how quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ passes follow Newton’s Laws of Physics.


College student Ramond learned the importance of getting the right help for school after meeting with Educational Opportunity Center counselor Jaime Alabi, who helped restructure his old student loans and introduced him to the KC Scholars Adult Learner Scholarship program. Ramond is back in school, preparing for a career in health sciences.


Brooke is going to college and has found that there are a lot of supports to help her succeed. From an academic coach to e-tutoring, and from getting campus tours to support from her resident assistant – or RA – Brooke has a network that will help her navigate through her courses and the opportunities that campus life brings.


Maggie has found that living on campus isn’t so scary after all. She says she feels safe navigating her way around campus and has found a group of friends who make her happy.


Daryn has known for a long time that she wanted to operate her own daycare center. Going to college was the first step to making that dream come true. She took a teacher education class and served a 10-week summer AmeriCorps VISTA internship at an early learning center where long-time teachers mentored and coached her. Through her VISTA service, she was able to earn an educational award to help pay for further schooling. 


Donisha came to college with a goal of working as a fashion merchandiser and one day owning her own business. She took entrepreneurship and marketing classes to get a closer look at the business world. One summer she served as a summer AmeriCorps VISTA at a Goodwill Store, where she got to practice her merchandising skills. Now, she is continuing her business education while learning retail customer service skills at her restaurant job.


Jakob lived on campus when he attended college and joined student groups that became like family for him. Taking theatre classes introduced him to a whole other group of students who welcomed him into their community as well. Now, he plans on returning to college to work towards a bachelor’s degree.