VRS and College & Career Navigation participant wins NASA’s “Space Grant” scholarship

VRS and Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota help guide John’s journey to become NASA scholarship winner.

John is currently a student at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul who has benefited from the collaboration between Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) and Goodwill-Easter Seals’ Retail Training and College & Career Navigation programs. They helped to first turn him into a successful physics major – and then to a winner of a NASA “Space Grant” Scholarship.

He’s come a long way since receiving VRS services in high school, when he started working with Abbie, his VRS counselor. Back then John found VRS fun and easy to work with, low stress and very helpful. He feels he is doing better in college because of the help he has received from VRS and the Goodwill-Easter Seals’ College and Career Navigation program. “It helped me by making sure things in the background were getting done,” John explains.

Connecting with Goodwill-Easter Seals’ College & Career Navigation Program

Early in his college career, John was faced with the challenges of juggling a job and managing his classwork. Abbie helped John connect with Goodwill-Easter Seals again to receive support from their College and Career Navigation program. It was then, in 2013, that he began working with Roger, Goodwill-Easter Seals’ College and Career Navigator.

John was able to use Goodwill-Easter Seals’ College & Career Navigation Services in a variety of ways. First, to help him better manage his workload when he started college. Later, it provided help when he was changing schools and filling out scholarship applications.

Photo of John and Roger

Roger assisted John in transferring from Normandale Community College to the University of Minnesota for a short period of time before ultimately enrolling at the University of St. Thomas to follow in the footsteps of his brother and sister. “I needed help figuring out what to send, filling out paperwork and navigating the system at school,” John explains. Assisting John with all the paperwork needed to enroll and ensure the transfer of credits from his previous colleges was instrumental to John’s success.

John and Roger have a wonderful working relationship which can be seen in their playful banter. “When I first met with Roger, he was very helpful when I needed to understand something on campus or what to do,” John says. “Every time I met with Roger I felt like I could trust him. Filling out scholarship forms, requesting letters of recommendation…anything. Whenever I had a question or needed help I felt that Roger went beyond my expectations,” John says. “Roger has been great; he really cares about his students.”