“Dear Stephen,

A few times in your life, if you are lucky, you encounter a special person, group of people or place that forever changes your life. Meeting you, your mentors and being at IU is one of those instances.

Four years ago – Brian was aging out of Gateway and had truly no place to go. He was fully autistic, content living in his own world – oblivious that the rest of the world existed, unrelated to others, lacking greatly in social, emotional and academic skills. He had devastatingly poor self-esteem and saw himself as stupid and unworthy.

Today, he is highly interested in ‘being like everyone else’ and is looking forward to leading a ‘normal’ life. He is traveling on a teen tour around the country, learning to drive, wanting to date and preparing to re-enter school with college to follow. He has a growing and impressive knowledge of history, science, math, English, Japanese, studio art, art history, tai chi, tango and yoga, is funny and personable, participates in long-dreaded singing, and can easily beat me in scrabble. Far more significantly, he has formed an incredibly meaningful, lifetime bond with you and many of his mentors, and continues to develop important social relationships and friendships in many other contexts. This is the just tip of the iceberg in terms of all he has accomplished with Individual U’s help.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for what has truly turned out to be a life-changing learning experience for Brian, and a treasured collaboration for our family. As your participation will continue in supporting Brian in his new school and learning endeavors, I look forward with confidence to even greater success and happiness for him.

With love and gratitude.”Current IU Parent