Anthony first came to the Heartspring School in November 2006. He had been attending public high school in his home state with little success. Many factors contributed to Anthony’s enrollment at Heartspring including anxiety and low self-esteem. He had difficulties with daily living skills and would avoid going out, not wanting to leave his home. His family’s primary goal when Anthony arrived at Heartspring was to have him “get on a schedule and join life again”.
Anthony is truly a Heartspring success story. In the past two years he has learned a great deal about himself and what he can accomplish. He has attended classes at the Heartspring School without missing a day. His academics are on track so that he will receive his high school diploma in June. Anthony has successfully completed his state assessment test, which he says was one of his proudest achievements. He has gained so much independence and it shows in his daily schedule. Today, he is a typical busy high school student. Anthony is now taking Driver’s Education at Wichita East High School and is taking his fourth class at a local community college. He currently has two off-campus jobs where he cleans horse stables and grooms the horses at the Flint Hills Therapeutic Riding Center and he also works two days a week at Towneplace Suites, where he does some basic housekeeping duties.
Anthony’s parents, Charles and Lou Ann, are very proud of their son’s accomplishments. They had goals for him, but were unsure he would be able to achieve them. Much to their delight, he has. In a recent visit back home Lou Ann said, “He was able to take responsibility of running his own schedule, staying on track and using the tools he has learned to deal with things emotionally.” She also said, “He is much more confident and his self esteem has soared, but most important of all, he truly seems happy again.” Charles and Lou Ann never thought college was a possibility for Anthony but are now considering a couple of college programs that assist students as they maneuver the college world.
Staff members at Heartspring have seen many positive changes in Anthony over the past two years and anyone who has been able to witness his many successes, love to talk about it. “Since he has been here, I feel that he has become more social and is able to hold a conversation with others. He greets our staff in the hallways and in his classroom and home. I am very proud of his accomplishments,” said Lori Hewitson, speech-language pathologist.
“Before coming here he refused to go to school because he did not want to be around his peers. He was reluctant to leave the house and declined most outings. He attends classes at Heartspring, a local community college and a local high school. This is a big accomplishment for him,” said Dr. Shelby Evans.
Anthony has accomplished many things while at Heartspring. His parents, the Heartspring staff and Anthony are all so proud of how well he is doing. He has grown into a self confident, more sociable young man and is quickly learning to become his own advocate. His new skills astound us all at Heartspring and if you ask Anthony what he has gained from attending Heartspring he says, “Gaining more independence.” It’s certainly true. Anthony’s success has brought him independence and confidence in knowing that he can leave Heartspring and move on to greater things.