Meet Andrew

I’ve never met anybody who’s judged me.

Grades

“I’ve never met anybody who’s judged me.”

When I was a junior, I was expelled.

Grades

“When I was a junior, I was expelled.”

I didn't know what I wanted to do.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I didn't know what I wanted to do.”

I don’t really put myself out there a lot.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I don’t really put myself out there a lot.”

I’m proud to say that I’m doing very well.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I’m very proud to say that I’m doing very well.”

I went to school for practically nothing.

Cost

“I went to school for practically nothing.”

Money is out there to help you—just look.

Cost

“Money is out there to help you—just look.”

It was stressful but rewarding in the end.

Cost

“It was stressful but rewarding in the end.”

I wanted to be a teacher.

Cost

“I wanted to be a teacher.”

I just assumed I wasn’t going to go.

Cost

“I just assumed I wasn’t going to go.”

It hits you at once.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“It hits you at once.”

I wasn’t sure what to do.

Cost

“I wasn’t sure what to do.”

Everything was in fine print.

Cost

“Everything was in fine print.”

I was a quiet freshman but now I'm outgoing.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I was a quiet freshman but now I'm outgoing.”

I had to deal with a lot all at once.

Responsibilities

“I had to deal with a lot all at once.”

I stayed close to home so my parents could visit.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I stayed close to home so my parents could visit.”

It pretty much gave me a full ride.

Cost

“It pretty much gave me a full ride.”

People are willing to help if you ask them.

Cost

“People are willing to help if you ask them.”

I was intimidated since I was undocumented.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I was intimidated since I was undocumented.”

My father did not want to help me.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“My father did not want to help me.”

I have a good chance of becoming more stable.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I have a good chance of becoming more stable.”

Leaving the reservation is a huge step.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“Leaving the reservation is a huge step.”

Meet Andrew

 

I’ve never met anybody who’s judged me.
Andrew’s learned to cope with severe ADHD.
I’ve never met anybody who’s judged me. (1:17)
Andrew’s learned to cope with severe ADHD.
I’ve never met anybody who’s judged me.
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Snapshot

Year in college
Senior
Major
Anthropology
Family income
Over $80,000
College path
Transferred from a two-year college to a four-year university
Published yearly in-state tuition and fees
$8,690
Financial aid received
Federal Pell Grant, subsidized and unsubsidized loans
High school GPA
B-/C+
Best college job
Stunts at a haunted house
Dream job
Maritime archaeologist
Andrew’s Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) made learning a constant challenge.
His obstacle 

First diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school, Andrew went to middle school at an academy that was designed especially for people with learning difficulties. His high school, however, was not.

“I really struggled in high school,” Andrew says. “I had a lot of problems in math, as well as classes that had mathematical background[s ] ... I sought out tutors and tried to get help.”

The thought of college study intimidated Andrew. “I saw students who were much better prepared than I was. I knew, based on high school, how much effort it was going to take.”

How he overcame it 

Andrew didn’t let doubt keep him from stepping up to the challenge and applying to college. Based on his experience, he offers these tips for college applicants with learning disorders:

  • Gather up-to-date paperwork documenting your disorder
  • Contact the office of disability services at the colleges you’re applying to
  • Ask for help from the people around you — whether parents, counselors or teachers

Andrew got help from his mother. “She played a big part in helping me find financial aid and [getting me] set up with the office of disability services at my college.”

Through his research, he found a grant for people with learning disorders that covered the cost of tuition for the first two years. When it was time to pick a school, he chose a nearby community college for two reasons: cost and size. “I liked the idea of a smaller class size ... [and] a smaller campus.”

Life at college 

After spending two years at community college, Andrew took two years off, “to experience what life had to offer.” He says it made him a better student. “I learned what was really important and what I would have to do to achieve my goals.”

Andrew now majors in anthropology at a state university. His favorite college experience so far was an archaeological dig in Lyminge, England. He feels he made a real difference because the excavations help the people in that area better understand their origins.

He still has to deal with his learning disorder, and says there was no single moment when, “it all clicked.” Instead, over time, he began to develop strategies to deal with his ADHD, like using his computer to take notes in class. He also gets extended time on tests, papers and in-class assignments.

Andrew’s timeline

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