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Please help me congratulate…


Please help me congratulate this AMAZING son of mine! He has officially passed his Basic EMS test and can now work in his chosen field. Woot, woot!

He is continuing his schooling this summer and will test for his Advanced EMS this fall either here or in California. As planned, he will be departing at the end of July to serve with Americorps FEMA for a year.

I am so, so proud of him. For those of you new to following me, I will give you a brief history of Sea Cadet…

Sea Cadet’s Story

Sea Cadet grew up in a transient home, essentially homeless until he was 12 years old and both of his parents were incarcerated. He along with his 4 siblings were placed in foster care, Sea Cadet and his identical twin brother (History Buff) were placed with me. They were in 7th grade and attending public schools. They had attended at least 6 different schools at that point, and were performing at a 3rd/4th grade level academically.

Sea Cadet had a speech impediment, couldn’t see (he needed glasses) and had an IEP through the special ed department that provided him additional support for a variety of other things. Their goal for him was to ride the public buses alone someday. I was floored when I first heard this after having him in my home for about a month at that time.

The twins had been bullied their whole lives and just passed on through the system. I received special permission to pull Sea Cadet out of public school in order to work with him as a homeschooled student. It was intense and not always pleasant for either of us. But we had an amazing homeschool community who just surrounded him and accepted him and nurtured him and pushed him.

He graduated from high school a year late and dove into this EMS program…and here we are. He’s gotten his drivers license, holds down a job and the boy they described in those initial IEP papers just doesn’t exist anymore.

What’s Next for Sea Cadet

He is a true testimony of what I’ve always believed, sometimes all it takes is for someone to tell you that you can do something.

Sea Cadet has a heart for serving…he is a volunteer firefighter in our local community, participates in the local Police Explorers program and will soon begin work as an EMT before serving a year with Americorp. I don’t know exactly what his future holds, but I can’t see anything but a fantastic adventure ahead and he is ready for it!


The Small Print


We had a slight setback this past week with History Buff’s schooling. Due to the small print regarding his dual enrollment eligibility, we were notified one day before summer classes started that his funding would be pulled. Eeek!

I certainly hadn’t budgeted a couple extra thousand for this semester AND next. Ugh! Thankfully, the college helped us find a work around, alternative funding and gave us some grace as far as financial due dates.

Downsides to the New Plan

But there are some downsides…

  • He will be locked into a the program I chose for him (meaning he can’t take classes outside of those that apply to this particular diploma.)
  • And while that wouldn’t be terrible in and of itself, because this is such a small class, many of the classes, pre-requisites for others, are only offered certain semesters.

We got him settled into summer classes. But it will take almost 2 years to finish this diploma track based on when classes are offered. And he is anxious to get on with his life…so we are looking for alternative ideas and tracks down the road.

I think the biggest frustration for him is that he doesn’t know what he wants to do. And since his funds for continued education are limited and we are trying to get him through debt free, we kind of need to find his direction so we don’t just flush money down the road as he finishes high school and picks a direction.

The Cost of this Semester

This semester ended up costing me $460 for tuition and $150 for books. And I imagine the fall semester will be about the same. I took the money out of my car savings, that was going to be my credit card pay off fund. It was really nice to have it on hand when needed without touching my EF.

But…how have parents of grown children helped them find their direction as far as studies or specialty training goes? We have spoke ad nauseam…but he’s not any more clear on his direction. Any pointers on this from experienced parents would be great!