Courage to Succeed
Courage to Succeed (C2S) is a year-round, holistic college and transition support program for young adults with autism and other neurological differences. C2S students’ skills, strengths, and career interests vary, but each receives the same intensive support in academics, career readiness, independent living, and social development.
Courage to Succeed (C2S) is a year-round, holistic college and transition support program for young adults with autism and other neurological differences. C2S students’ skills, strengths, and career interests vary, but each receives the same intensive support in academics, career readiness, independent living, and social development. Students have a shared goal of earning a vocational certificate or an associate’s degree from local colleges in Richmond. Program staff practice Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS)™, an evidence-based approach that promotes development of executive-functioning skills and problem-solving skills.
Who We Serve
We serve students with neurological differences including:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Learning disabilities
- Traumatic brain injury
Students attend classes at a local college three days a week, and program coaches accompany them to campus to provide academic assistance and general advocacy. Two days a week, students meet at the UMFS campus in Richmond, where they receive life-skills training.
Courage to Succeed coaches conduct three assessments to assist with skills-training and progress-monitoring:
1. Comprehensive Biopsychosocial Assessment
2. BRIEF Assessment — measures nine executive-functioning skills
3. VIA Character Strengths Survey — measures 24 character strengths
During the academic year, students undergo job-skills coaching, including various work-readiness trainings and workplace site visits. During the summer, students work part-time jobs or internships based on their skills and career interests.
Mental-health coaching is led by a therapist with experience in working with adolescents and young adults. Mental-health coaching includes:
- Weekly, one-hour interpersonal processing group
- Bi-weekly, one-hour mental health skill-building psychoeducation group
- Weekly, half-hour individual meetings with students to discuss social or emotional concerns
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students attend programming on our campus, which includes training in social skills, mental health, healthy relationships, independent living, and career readiness. Courage to Succeed coaches use Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) to assist with developing thinking skills.
Independent Living Skills
Independent-living skills training includes weekly instruction and community-based learning in areas such as:
- Emergency planning
- Financial planning
- Household maintenance
Our Work in Action
“I have enjoyed the Courage to Succeed program…It has helped me improve my independence in college. I have also managed to meet new people and make friends. I would highly recommend it to anyone that feels they need help going into adult life.”
“Courage to Succeed gave my young adult son the supports he needed to complete his Associate’s Degree. He also progressed with his maturity, independence and communication skills. My son had all the academic abilities to be successful in community college, yet he needed help organizing his assignments, meeting deadlines and communicating with instructors. The staff at Courage to Succeed met his needs so well! They had the creativity and resources to help him navigate college, even through the pandemic. Before the pandemic, the community activities and job internships gave my son more confidence and experience working with new people. Honestly, Courage to Succeed was the main contributor to my son’s graduation. I highly recommend Courage to Succeed!”
“Without a doubt the Courage to Succeed program has opened up a world of possibilities for our son. The overall program, the support from staff and the internships he got through Courage to Succeed have helped him become the happy, confident, and successful young man he is today.”
“The C2S team is great at fostering independence while providing thoughtful support. I’ve seen my son grow in so many ways since being a part of this program!”
“I have seen so much progress made in life skills, not only in my son, but also within all the other members of the Courage to Succeed program. I believe in and support this program from the results I have witnessed firsthand.”