Jacob B. of New Jersey is an accounting major at Daemen College, a private 4-year liberal arts school in suburban Buffalo. Taking upper-division courses and landing A’s and B’s in all, Jacob used to spend most of his time in his bedroom, reading fan fiction or playing computer games. But this semester, things are different.
Jacob “has participated willingly in a number of activities he never would have in the past,” beams Lawler. One was a jet boat ride in Niagara Falls last August. Jacob was nervous about the adventure, but as water from the mighty cataract drenched all the intrepid passengers, there was Jacob with a huge smile on his face! His wave of satisfaction continued at the open-air restaurant they went to after the boat ride, where Jacob eagerly participated in the conversation.
Jacob’s shift from being glued to his computer to a greater social life continued on land as well as sea. In October, Mary Lawler took him and several others to see the rainbow of fall foliage at Letchworth State Park – the Grand Canyon of the East. Initial doubts that Jacob would embrace the journey were quickly dispelled. He went most willingly, hiking enthusiastically with the others for hours.
“He hung in there with us, and mid-way through the trail, he emerged as the front hiker, keeping track of the trail,” Lawler recalls. “When we got off course, Jacob said, ‘I think we’re lost,’ and he was right. But he found the solution to get us back on track.”
Later, Jacob and the others enjoyed his favorite food – pizza.
Another student will be profiled in next month’s Buffalo report. Meanwhile, Lawler emphasizes that the Buffalo office of CIP boasts some impressively credentialed staff. Including: Laurie Krupski, Ph.D. in wellness psychology; David Gregory, licensed clinical social worker, experience in counseling and social thinking development; Kristie Kaminski, M.S. in higher education administration and liaison with area colleges; Angela Pennock, M.S. in special education; Chris Kennedy, B.A. in psychology, who’s live-in staff and himself a graduate of the CIP Brevard Center in Florida; Elizabeth Sherlock, graduate student in school counseling and weekend staffer; and Ruthie Roughsedge, administrative assistant.