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Casey Overcomes Past Challenges

Casey confides that his early years were not easy.  While in middle and high school, he experienced bullying and had trouble with his schoolwork.  After being diagnosed with an intellectual disability, he was introduced to Harbor Regional Center, and his counselor, Cassie Forrest, who thought he would be a great candidate for California MENTOR’s College to Career (C2C) program.

C2C is an innovative post-secondary program that offers educational coaching, student housing, and independent living support.  It is offered by Harbor Regional Center through a partnership between California MENTOR, Long Beach City College, and HOPE Inc.  Prior to entering C2C, Casey had attended Long Beach City College off and on for a couple of years.  According to Casey, having people to help him made all the difference in getting him to focus and succeed in his studies.

“You need a helping hand once in a while,” Casey said.  “You’re not doing it all by yourself.”

Looking around the C2C student apartment he now shares with his roommate, Sam, he adds, “I wouldn’t have any other place to go, otherwise.”

Casey has already earned two certificates for Culinary Arts, for ServSafe® and Food Prep.  He recently received the good news that he had been awarded the Henry J. Meyer Family Scholarship through the Long Beach City College Foundation.

When he’s not cooking and dreaming of running his own restaurant, Casey likes hanging out and going to the movies with his roommate.  An avid fan of anime, he makes his own costumes and likes to wear them to Anime Expos.

“When I got the call saying that I was selected (for C2C), I jumped for joy,” Casey added.  “It has been almost a year since I have joined the program and I have accomplished so much.  With this program, I have done things that I didn’t think I could do on my own. When it comes to school, they have really helped me a lot.”