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  • Writer's pictureThe Norman Howard School

Alumni Spotlight

Jacob pictured speaking at the AutismUp Gala.

“Many of my lifelong goals and dreams have been realized or feel within reach,” Jacob Collier (’13 grad) shares with Mr. Koffenberger, his former Social Studies teacher.

“I often reflect on how blessed I was to have such a strong support system during my tenure at The Norman Howard School. I stand as a much more confident man - each day I grow and continue to learn and trust in my principles. Many of my lifelong goals and dreams have been realized or feel within reach. I have an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and Humanities from Finger Lakes Community College. From there I had a moment of lapse trying to decide where to go next, but I discovered an organization called AutismUp and everything changed. I decided to check out the facility and partake in some of the classes. I fell in love with what the organization stood for and the great lengths that it went to support others in the pursuit of equality. I mustered up the courage to ask if I could volunteer. As my relationship with AutismUp grew, they continued to have more opportunities for me. I volunteer as a support coach and mentor and have been able to impact the lives of others like me on a personal level. I have also become an active advocate in the community for those with special needs and have joined two advocacy boards made up of those entirely on the spectrum. I have been featured on a podcast and made a speech to a room with hundreds of people at the recent annual AutismUp Gala. In addition to my volunteer work, I also have a job at Vision Buick-GMC Automotive where I work as a detail technician and lot attendant.”

Jacob closes his email by saying to Mr. Koffenberger, “It is exciting to know that you still work at NHS where I know that you are making an impact on the lives of young adults just as you did mine.”

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