All Kinds of News for November 07, 2018
TechieForLife (TFL) has promoted Cam Sherman to be the new Program Director. Cam was previously working as TFL’s Assistant Program Director and recently graduated with his degree in psychology from Dixie State University. He is married to Chloe and has three children. He’s passionate about mentoring and excited to take a larger role in the direct mentoring of TFL students.
His variety of life experiences working in residential treatment centers, volunteering in groups that service neurodiverse people, several years of teaching experience and working with diverse learning abilities have prepared him for this position. “I’m passionate about people’s progress, and I like that we have a model that encourages and supports that progress through close relationships — relationships of influence,” shared Cam. Some of the organizations he’s been affiliated with are YServe, a Brigham Young University program similar to Big Brothers, Big Sisters; Chrysalis, where he worked as a Registered Behavior Technician; mentoring at Maple Lake Academy; Red Rock Residential Treatment Center; and in the department of learning services at Dixie State University as the coordinator over the Academic Performance and Tutoring Center.
“A mentor is a friend with a trajectory,” said Cam. “It’s somebody who goes with the person of interest to help them accomplish their goals and become their best selves.” As is often the case with the population that TechieForLife serves, so many neurodiverse young adults who struggle with social, emotional and/or academic challenges have been advised, suggested or told to the point of numbness. “They rarely need more telling what works. Often they need somebody to spend long hours showing them and helping them see and experience living for themselves the advice they’ve been told their whole lives,” Cam shares. “It takes a long time and a lot of attention, but it’s the only thing I’ve seen produce lasting intrinsic motivation and change.”
Cam opened up about one of his recent mentoring moments that was a culmination of about a year’s worth of small relationship-building experiences. After one of the students broke some serious rules, Cam was able to intervene and talk to him. “We talked like we were on the same team, his team, because we were.” The student was scared and wanted to avoid and create space, going as far as making up his mind to walk to the homeless shelter. “In the parking lot I leveled with him and shared my feelings about his choice and talked to him. It was a lot less like a program director, and a lot more like a friend,” said Cam. Because of a strong relationship that they had built and a strong sense of trust and mutual respect, they were able to prevent a sad situation and turn something negative into something they could really work through together. “It was great,” said Cam.
TechieForLife (TFL) is a co-ed, young adult, residential and licensed vocational school located in St. George, Utah. Dubbed "Silicon Slopes South," beautiful Southern Utah is home to one of the fastest growing tech sectors in the U.S. Neurodiverse students who need a safe social and emotional environment gain important life skills, mentoring and a college track or marketable technology training, leading to internship/job placement through TFL's close private sector partnerships. TechieForLife gives students a place to belong and the supports to succeed.