Sean attended special education classes for most of his K-12 years. He always thought he was smart, but because of his “learning disabilities” (difficulties with reading), he was typecast. Sean has been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, and dyslexia. His parents sent him to special classes and seminars, but nothing really worked. By age 13, he was discouraged and had gotten in with the “wrong crowd.” His mother gently forced him into the Explorers, a program for young people working with firemen. In 10th grade, he came in contact with a GCC recruitment counselor, and joined the Jump Start program. He continued taking fire technology and math classes and was accepted into the GCC Fire Academy in 2001. The same counselor tested him for SSS, a visual imaging perceptual disorder. With some simple aids he was finally able to comprehend what he was reading. He was amazed at the difference in his ability to read and understand and he still uses these tools today.
Sean states that his GCC Fire Academy experience and certification gave him the knowledge and ability to present himself well. He feels that the Fire Academy’s professionalism sets it apart from any other local academies. Sean completed his EMT training and currently works as a paramedic for a private ambulance company. He feels that being able to have a direct impact on people’s lives everyday provides tremendous satisfaction. Sean credits much of his success to the strong foundation his parents gave him. He hopes to get a master’s degree and become an educator—another way to help people and impact lives.