New Perspectives

Gainesville, Florida
Laura Turner-Reed

Academic Success, Inc. is a transitional program for young adults diagnosed with various learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, visual and auditory processing disorders, traumatic brain disorders and Asperger’s Disorder, who are looking to enter college or a vocational program and heading towards a more independent life.

Arlene English, BS, is the Executive Director of Academic Success, Inc. English has over thirty years experience working with people with various disabilities, and has won outstanding employee awards from the Association for Retarded Citizens-Broward and South Florida State Hospital and from the Florida Families Up Front organization. Angela Griglock, BA, Director of Guidance, is the guidance counselor. She tutors the students in English and writing, and informs the parents on the students’ progress. Theresa Foster, BS, MS, PhD, is the Mentoring Services Advisor and serves as the liaison between Academic Success and the Disability Resource Center at Santa Fe Community College.

The main components of this program focus on tutoring, mentoring, life skills, career advising and social activities, with each student receiving an individualized plan that is customized to their strengths, needs and learning styles. Students live in furnished apartments, directly across the street from Santa Fe Community College, within easy access to a library, banking, shopping and theaters. Other college options include St. Leo University, Barry University or The University of Florida. Students receive support with one-on-one tutoring, supervised study halls and regular class reviews, in addition to meeting weekly with the Director of Guidance to assist them in self-assessment, communication and self-advocacy skills.

Students meet on a weekly basis with a mentor, receiving emotional support and assistance in their transition to college and apartment living. The Mentoring Services Advisor is available to help with coaching sessions between roommates, addressing communication, collaboration and equitable division of household responsibilities. Life Skills Coaches are available to help students with necessary skills to function independently and to assist with unexpected situations. Besides the local college social activities of clubs and sporting events, the students at Academic Success, Inc. participate in weekend brunches, movie nights, picnics and theatre nights facilitated by staff.

[This information came from the Academic Success Inc website and brochure.]