Felix P.... The First to Graduate
Felix P. was referred to the White Plains ACCES-VR District Office as a transitioning high school student in 2017. He has Cerebral Palsy which affects his speech and fine motor skills. Felix utilizes a motorized wheelchair. As a high school student, he loved computers and playing basketball. Felix graduated from The Henry Viscardi School in LI with an Advanced Regents Diploma and was accepted at Iona College. Felix is the son of immigrants, is bilingual and is the first to graduate from college in his family.
Felix sought college sponsorship from the White Plains ACCES-VR District Office. He worked with several counselors during his college years who facilitated access to notetaker services and provided college sponsorship. This sponsorship included tuition, books, fees, and transportation to assist him to get to school. Felix completed a Bachelor of Computer Science at Iona College in June 2021. In 2022, he participated in an ACCES-VR funded summer internship at the largest food and beverage company in North America. Felix then requested and was granted sponsorship for his master’s degree. He graduated with a 3.833 GPA in the Spring of 2023.
With school now behind him, Felix landed full time employment at the corporation where he completed his internship hours. As he began his work life, Felix’s eye gaze computer system began to fail him. In consultation with ACCES-VR assistive technology experts and his vocational rehabilitation counselor, Nobuko Iijima-Mace, Felix explored a variety of updated systems, communication software and devices that would best meet his needs. ACCES-VR provided an eye gaze system, a computer, and a mounting bracket to safely secure these devices to his power chair. On July 17th, 2023. Felix began working from home for PepsiCo in Purchase as a full-time computer programmer. Felix is very appreciative of the services he received as they were essential to his successful transition into employment.
This story was submitted by Michele P. Green
Local Workforce Development and Business Relations Coordinator
White Plains District Office