The nonprofit Medina Creative Housing unveiled a new program Wednesday, giving young adults with disabilities a fighting chance at college life.
The program is called Medina Creative Transitions and has two-parts — one is residential, the other caters to commuter students.
“This is a program that’s going to empower people, that is going to change lives,” said CEO Dianne DePasquale-Hagerty.
Inside a large building on a quiet Brunswick street are eight unique efficiency apartment units — four with students with physical disabilities, four with students with mental disabilities.
“We deal with a wide spectrum,” said DePasquale-Hagerty. “From autism and Down syndrome to traumatic brain injury.”
The program also provides one-on-one tutoring and transportation to Tri-C campuses.
Jeff Sampson, a 23-year-old college freshman at Tri-C, is one of the first to move in. He has spina bifida and has been wheelchair-bound since birth.
Now, Sampson is studying to be a sign language interpreter, refusing to let his disability slow him down.
“It’s a fresh start, a new beginning,” Sampson said.
His mom Traci is equally excited about her son’s newfound freedom and independence.
“That’s all we want, as parents,” Traci Sampson said. “To have your child be successful and independent and that’s what this means.”
Out of the eight units in the building, three are still available for rent. More information can be found at the Medina Creative Housing website.
The program developed over the last two years, in partnership with Tri-C, Lorain Community College, and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism.