I decided to go into the Next Steps program so I could be a college man and have a college experience like my sisters and learn what college is like. When I first started Next Steps I felt excited and nervous about beginning a new chapter of my life, and I felt it was going to be the place for me to do more things. When I got there I had so much freedom, I could walk around anywhere on campus and it felt good.
My favorite classes were Child Development and Harry Potter. I liked it because I knew so much about Harry Potter and it was awesome and I thought about how I’m like Harry - we are both brave and confident and have good friends we can rely on.
My favorite professor was John Geer because he is a man and he knows a lot about American government and politics and Obama. I learned about the American government and how it works. I also learned about politics and voting and the economy. He is one of a kind!
At graduation I felt like my journey at college is coming to an end and I felt kind of sad at leaving Vanderbilt. I will miss my friends and being on campus for lunch at the cafeterias. I'll also miss my classes because I liked them a lot, but I achieved my goal of being a college student!
Next I’ll be working for AmeriCorps and am looking forward to it. I’ll be spending more time at home with my family and getting out in the real grown-up world of work. I’m ready for work after Next Steps because I learned about business at the Tennessee Technology Center. I have a resume and I know how to talk to employers, so I’m prepared to have a career.
Thomas Edward Nesbitt III is a Nashville native, a proud member of his family, a strong self-advocate, and a graduate of Vanderbilt University’s Next Steps program. Edward is toning his advocacy skills by serving on the Tennessee Best Buddies Board. He is also a member of Tennessee’s Allies in Self-Advocacy and the Alliance for Full Participation.
All statements and opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors, and not of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or NBC News.