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Taking the Leap with INCLUDEnyc

March 29, 2021
Community Voices
A young man with glasses takes a selfie at an amusement park. A roller coaster is in the background.

“I am so proud of graduating high school on time,” Enrique shared. In high school, Enrique had been told that it would take him 5 or 6 years to graduate. “I proved them wrong. I graduated high school on time with a Regents diploma.”

Enrique, who is on the spectrum, continued to have high expectations for himself. He was referred to INCLUDEnyc and was enthusiastic after hearing more about the Project Possibility program.

“I succeeded in high school because of my support systems and I wanted to start college with that same safety net,” Enrique explained. “INCLUDEnyc is my support system now. I know I’m not alone and the team always backs me up,” Enrique said.

Enrique is an aspiring film director and writer, studying Digital Media and Film at Bronx Community College. INCLUDEnyc worked with Enrique to request accommodations, which helped tremendously with completing assignments and testing. Enrique also learned about his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and how to advocate for himself.

“At first, I was pretty enthusiastic about online classes, but it was more challenging than I thought,” Enrique explained. “I needed to meet with my professors more often, ask questions, and get additional clarification.”

“I’m especially proud of Enrique’s advocacy during the pandemic,” shared Belinda Lin, an INCLUDEnyc Youth Educator. “It’s not easy to keep following up with professors or the financial aid office, but Enrique does not give up.”

Enrique continues to persevere in his classes, as well as work on his interview and advocacy skills to become more job ready—possibly for a future internship with a major studio, like Disney. “I’m so glad that I took the leap with INCLUDEnyc,” Enrique said.