Seventeen years after graduating from the Laradon School, one alum has returned to campus in an unexpected, but serendipitous way. The alum, Matt, attended the school from 1993 to 2005, where he was able to receive a one of a kind education and prepare for his future.
“They taught me skills to use,” Matt says, “I use them all the time!”
Now, at the age of thirty-five, he is employed by Laradon’s Transportation Services department- something he never would have expected when he attended school here. Matt returned to his alma mater when he and his younger brother moved into The Stella, an affordable housing apartment complex located on Laradon’s campus.
“I heard about the apartments,” he explains, “I loved it!”
Matt then began looking for somewhere he could work. He was part of Laradon’s Individual Employment Program at the time, but wanted to find work closer to where he lived. At first, he considered taking a job at a nearby retail location. But, fate would intervene. Matt was connected to Anthony Miser, the program manager of Laradon’s Adult Employment Services, about taking a job on campus.
“Anthony kept on asking me. He knew I wanted a job close to home,” Matt recalls.
Now Matt works part-time, washing and cleaning the vans that Laradon participants take on community day trips. Matt loves his role and takes pride in his work.
“I wash all the vans,” he says, “I get to pick my own shift. It’s like my own business.”
Matt never anticipated he would be back on campus later in his life, but he enjoys being a part of the Laradon community once again.
”I was not expecting to work where I went to school, but I like it. I know some of the teachers, still. [They would say] I’m a hard worker. I love this school, especially my old teachers. And I know they love me,” Matt shares.
When he’s not making sure the Laradon vans are fresh and sparkling, Matt enjoys bowling, playing basketball, listening to music, and watching his favorite TV shows. Matt loves helping others and giving back to his community, which is why it’s only natural for him to dream of being a police officer one day.
” My favorite thing to do is help people,” he says, ”My goals are working and getting the vans done. And I try to help other people.”
Matt offers encouragement to anyone trying to pursue their goals: ”Keep working on it. Do your best. That’s what I always do!”
Written by Elianna Patridge, Laradon’s Communications And Marketing Intern