Today, I went to visit the Cypress Bay BRIDGES Program to talk about what my experience is like in college at UNF and FIU. I first initiated the speech by telling everyone my name, how old I was, and that I was an alumnus of Cypress Bay High School. I announced to the students about my experience of being a student at Cypress Bay High School. I started off by telling them that I was in the same class as them and that I went through the same experiences that they are going through right now. I expressed to them that when I was in the class, I loved the field trips that we went on, and that I especially loved the dress up week. I then informed the students that I was in Drama Buddies, which is where the Best Buddies Students get paired up with one of the Drama students and they participate in a sort of talent show at the end. Finally, I talked about my experience being in the Cypress Bay Chorus and being able to perform at the Epcot Candlelight Processional, where we go to sing at a show that they do during the holiday season at Disney, and doing the Valentine’s Day Grams, where we get to go around the school singing one love song.

I then mentioned to the students about my experience getting ready for College. I notified them that I had taken the ACT and that I had lots of tutors to help me prepare for the ACT. I then reported that after the ACT, I had gotten accepted to UNF. I proceeded to speak about my summer after I graduated, I first went to New York to sing with the Cypress Bay Chorus at Carnegie Hall, but then after that I attended UNF and did summer classes, as well as being associated with the THRIVE Program. I communicated to them that THRIVE is a program run out of the Disability Resource Center and is centered towards college students with learning disabilities, such as ADD, ADHD, and Autism. I conveyed to the students the resources that UNF has to offer and told them that I lived on campus.

Finally, I mentioned to the students that in 2017, I had a health problem that I had to have surgery for, so I decided to come back down to South Florida, and take some classes at FIU, just in case I had gotten sick again, that way I am closer to family if they needed to pick me up. I verbalized to them about my experience at Panther Camp, that by the time my mom came to pick me up, all of the students

were saying good-bye to me. I informed them that at Panther Camp, you do activities that kind of associate and give you background about FIU, like some activities share information about clubs and what you can do to get out and socialize and one activity shared information about the resources that FIU has to offer. I explained to the students what my dorm looked like and showed them pictures of my dorm. I then spoke to the students about the resources that they have to offer at FIU and the resources that I use outside of FIU, like tutoring and Peer Group.

I ended my conversation by leaving them with these words, “My advice to those seniors going to college is, Be Your Own Advocate. Go out and join a club or go to a sporting event.” I explained to them that at first, I was hesitant about going to the events, but as soon as I went out, I had so much fun. After I finished speaking to them, they asked some very good questions. I showed them my One Card and told them the many things you can do with it, like buying food if you are on the meal plan, getting into the library, getting into events such as football or baseball games, and getting into your room. Overall, it was the most fun experience that I ever experienced. Hopefully, when these seniors and juniors go to college, they will remember that I told them that when they get to college, to go out to events, join clubs, and to meet new people.