Looking forward

Looking+forward

Special Education seniors have mixed feelings about leaving Concord High School but prepare to do so with heads held high.

“It’s going to be hard not being around my family all the time,” said Desiree Dubuque, a senior pictured at lower left. She has plans to move to Florida in the fall. “I get to start my own life…and I won’t have to worry about stupid winter anymore!”

Many will leave with heavy hearts but some will set out joyfully, ready to leave the city of Concord.
“Thank God it’s almost over so I can get out of here!” said Thomas Boyce, a senior who wants his future to be in the military.
Many will miss activities like Unified Track, Baseball, Basketball and Soccer, all growing in popularity at CHS. Many seniors have participated in one or more of those throughout their high school careers.
“I like to do things that are active,” said Taylor Bisson, a student who is thinking of a future in either cosmetology or waitressing.
Peer to Peer is a CHS class that uses the Access program for hands-on experiences with students of varying abilities.  Over the years, it has developed into a community-building course between kids in the Access classes and the general student body, said Peter Bombaci, a Special Education Teacher completing his 21st year at Concord High.
Bombaci was one of the first “Inclusion” teachers that started back in 1993 when CASNIP, a private program, dissolved and was taken over by CHS. “Peer to Peer has boosted the kids’ confidence, self-esteem, and made them more a part of the CHS community,” stated Bombaci, who believes that kids helping kids is the way to accomplish this.
The course makes a significant difference in the peer’s lives as well.
IMG_20140603_123408_795“It’s a great experience to be involved with the kids. They really teach you to have an open mind,” shared Asialon Johnson, a freshman taking the class.
Full of diverse ambitions and hopeful futures, these graduates are likely to achieve great things.
“My dream is to be a designer and do something with clothes,” said Taylor Bisson, a senior who has lots of dreams, but wants this one to come true most of all.
About Creative Cooking at Concord High, Troy Tremblay said: “We got to make our favorite foods, and it’s pretty important not to set the house on fire.” He is also thinking about making a career out of this skill, and is starting his journey at a kitchen in Heritage Heights nursing home next year.
After graduation, students can choose to take the Transition program that helps kids that were originally part of the Special Education program ease into the working world. It goes up to age 21, and after that, they are part of Community Bridges, an adult agency that helps them with finances and jobs.
“I would like to go to college and get my teaching degree at NHTI to become a preschool teacher,” said Gabrielle Bougie, who graduated in 2012 and is currently part of the Transition Program. “I like to see [kids] smile.”
All of these young adults are on the road to success in a big way, no matter what stands in their path.
In the program at Concord High for young adults with special needs, the students are even accommodated with internships at two to four community businesses or nonprofits over their High School career. Usually, this helps the students begin to think about careers that spark their interest or don’t, for when they are ready to go out into the big world.
IMG_20140610_114806_689“It’s not working out that well right now because all I do is dust,” said Tremblay of interning at the Salvation Army.
“I think I’ll like it there,” says Trevor Sacco, a 20-year old in the Transition Program who will be going to Project Search next year for a year of internships at the hospital.
The greatest thing of all is that every one of these students shares a passion for each other, having grown up being helped themselves. With this, they are set out to make the world a better place, and the odds are in their favor.