That tension-causing moment when a high school senior opens a letter from a college not knowing whether you’ve been accepted or not. Such was the feeling of 18-year old high school student Noah VanVooren from Wisconsin.
Noah, unlike any other teenager has Down Syndrome and doctors have told his parents that he would never ‘walk, talk or do anything’ in his life.
Surrounded by his parents and friends, Noah opened the envelope from Edgewood College. One moment he looked nervous but after reading the first line of the letter, his face was glowing with pride.
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“I got accepted,” Noah screamed. “Dad you rock! I love you!” he said before giving his father a big hug. This happy moment was captured on video and has been making waves in YouTube.
Edgewoold College in Wisconsin offers a special program called Cutting Edge – a four-year program created especially for students with developmental disabilities. This program offers them almost the same privileges experienced by their peers.
A student from Noah’s high school featured the video in their school’s weekly video announcement and the entire student body cheered for him.
Since Cutting Edge began in 2007, 32 students have graduated from the program. It is the first of its kind in the state of Wisconsin. There are three required courses in the program – Resource Seminar, Safety in the Community, and Friends, Dating and Your Place in a Diverse Community. Students under the Cutting Edge program are still able to enroll general courses, though.
Noah Vanvoooren also made news before when his football team paid tribute to him on his last year in Little Chute High School in Clintonville, Wisconsin. He had served the team as its manager and waterboy for four years. During one of his final games, where his parents were present, the team decided to make that game memorable for him.
Before the game to a close, both teams allowed one final play and Noah was called to the field. He was in his number 14 jersey. He got passed the ball from the quarterback and players from the opposite team pretended to get tackled by Noah’s team. Noah wasted no time as he hustled the 35-yards to the finish line.
“He’s always positive. He’ll pat you on the back and tell you you’re doing a good job,” says one teammate.