COLLEGE STATION — The Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS) program at Texas A&M University is honored to announce the 2014 graduates. This year, 21 young men and women successfully graduated from the PATHS certificate program. More than 230 family and friends attended the third graduating PATHS class since the certificate program was developed in 2010 at the Center on Disability and Development (CDD). The PATHS program is an inclusive certificate program to prepare students with and without disabilities for a career as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) who will work with the elderly or people with disabilities in the community. Students with developmental disabilities are encouraged to also apply for the Bridge to Career program, which will provide further support to the students in the PATHS program.
The graduation ceremony also recognized 3 graduates who completed the DSPC 1 program. The Academy for Direct Support Professionals at Texas A&M University is certified by the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals. These graduates are considered Certified Direct Support Professionals and have completed 100 hours of instruction that include demonstrated competency supporting a focus person with disabilities using Person Centered Thinking skills. All three graduates are employed with the Brenham Outreach Advisory Council.
During the graduation ceremony, Mr. René Enriquez, ’88, a former Texas A&M Graduate and parent to one of this year’s PATHS graduates, spoke about the experiences and opportunities the PATHS program brought to their family.
Seeing his daughter experience moving to College Station, making new friends and getting to attend a program at Texas A&M University was something he was proud to have shared. An Aggie tradition!
The Keynote speaker was Jackie Pacha, Executive Director for the Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living, spoke on behalf of the PATHS providers. Pacha spoke about accomplishments, dreams and the challenges everyone faces.
Pacha reminded the graduates, “It’s not the diploma itself that counts – it’s about what you’ve learned along the way and what you do with what you have learned. Your future is in your hands – no one else’s.”
Hollie Mobbs of Friendswood, presented the 2014 Class Salutatory Address and the Valedictory Address was given by Kelley Etheridge of College Station.
The Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University supports PATHS, Bridge to Career, and the Academy for Direct Support Professionals as well as a number of projects and programs that help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families. As a federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), the CDD is part of a national network of similar centers across the country.
For more information about the Center for Disability and Development and to learn more about this program and other programs and opportunities visit http://cdd.tamu.edu.
The PATHS 2014 Graduates are:
Front – Eric Ramirez, Jonathan Roppolo, Alisa King, Ruby Jackson and William Greig
Standing Left to Right: Erin Shaw, Joanna Tellez, Rebecca Briones, Havilah Walsh, Mycahla Street, Gavin Kosinski, Alyssa Enriquez, Kelley Etheridge, Ryan Bustamante, Ashley Eldridge, Hollie Mobbs, Nathan Van Nostrand, Tommy Gingise, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Jennifer Morris, Trenton Vickers, Kristopher McGlynn, Alexis Orozco, Brittany Nunn.
Mr. René Enriquez pictured with, his wife, Adelina and his daughter, Alyssa