Brett arrived at CIP Amherst in September 2011 with a history. He had attended several different boarding schools, including three different high schools before finally graduating from Summit Preparatory with a high school diploma.
Though Brett made excellent progress at Summit, there was an incident of impulsive spending (hundreds of dollars) over the summer after graduation from Summit and before enrollment at CIP.
His parents were very concerned about whether college was a realistic goal for Brett at this point in his life. Nonetheless, a plan was developed prior to his arrival at CIP to support him and Brett is now writing a new story for his life.
The staff at CIP Amherst would not use any of the descriptors above to describe him. Rather, phrases such as managing his course work, earning A’s and B’s, emerging as a student leader, managing money responsibly, and balancing his need for support with his desire for independence would be the way we here at CIP would describe him.
Brett arrived with a strong desire to do well, be successful, overcome his past and convince his parents that he could change. He hasn’t missed a beat. He ended his first semester of taking a full time course load of 5 courses with a 3.2 GPA. Brett is a different person today. He is in the second half of his first year; amazingly, he did that with a minimal level of support.
Similar to many students, he did have a few missteps along the way, but Brett came to one of our staff immediately, advocated and cooperated fully with whatever plan was devised. Twice this meant that Brett set up appointments with his professors and asked for their feedback and assistance.
In every instance Brett was able to take the input he received and solve the problem. He has also demonstrated the ability to learn from his mistakes and not repeat them.
Socially, Brett has done great. His love of basketball was turned into a tremendous opportunity to integrate into the Daemen College community (Daemen is the college in Amherst NY that Brett attends).
One of the very first days that Brett was at CIP, he went over to Daemen to “shoot some hoops.” There he met a few of Daemen’s basketball team players. They seemed to bond almost instantly sharing their love of the sport. Not too long afterwards, Brett came by the CIP office stating he had been invited to be the manager of the Daemen basketball team.
Not quite believing my ears I contacted the coach who said that it was true but that there would be a probationary period and if Brett “messed up” that would be the end of it. I thanked him profusely and asked him to communicate with me immediately if there were any problems arising. There have been none to date.
As a matter of fact, Brett recently traveled with the team to the finals in Missouri having beat their competitors in the playoffs over the past few weeks.
Brett has turned an important corner in his life. I believe he has learned that his intelligence, humor, creativity, charisma and good-heartedness are a winning combination and that if he handles himself responsibly, he can without question achieve his goals.
Brett made the following video for the team just before their first playoff game. The players and coach liked it so much they played it in the gymnasium to the fans before the game. I hope you enjoy the video as much as we did.