Tennessee Kindred Stories of Disability

A collection of stories from individuals with disabilities, families, friends, and disability service providers in Tennessee



Haley (19), Intellectual Disability, Williamson County


"The program teaches me how to live on my own when I am ready to move out of my parents’ house and move into an apartment of my own."

  • A Self-advocate's Perspective
  • Posted on 8/01/2013

Hello my name is Haley. I am going to tell you the reason why I chose Next Steps at Vanderbilt. The reason why is because it is a good fit for me and it teaches me about job options and it also teaches me how to live on my own when I am ready to move out of my parents’ house and move into an apartment of my own. And it also teaches me how to cook different meals.

I also love being with all of my Ambassadores. They help me with daily planning, tutoring, exercising, and they help me with my homework also. The Ambassadores are great friends to have. This program has an effect on my life because I communicate better. And I have made some amazing friends at The Next Steps program. I also have some amazing teachers at the program as well.

I have learned how to type a little better. This program has taught me a lot like to never give up. If I wasn’t in this program I do not know where I would be right now. And I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. If my mom didn’t push me I wouldn’t be in the Next Steps program. I would have to thank my mom for helping me get to this program. She is an important. She is an important person in my life. She has pushed me a lot for me to be a fun and happy person. And to have this college experience. Like being on a big campus with a lot of people and a lot of buildings.

 I have had the most amazing semester. I got to be with Kendra again. She is one of my best friends that I hang out with during the school day. Kendra has also helped me be more positive with my life and I am so glad that she did. The Next Steps program is amazing. I love it so much. I also loved working at TRIAD this semester. That is one of my internships that I have really enjoyed. What I do at TRIAD is I put together packets and I laminate too. I work at two places at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Medical Arts Building. My life has been wonderful and happy new because I have a great support group. And I have some amazing teachers. Next Steps rocks!

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