News Today – Deven Yakes overcomes obstacles to attain his education | News, Sports, Jobs

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News Today | Today Breaking News – By Guwahatyassam.info


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Deven Yakes smiles for the camera. He has overcome obstacles to attain his education.


ALPENA — Deven Yakes of Alpena is a very special success story for Alpena Public Schools, Alpena Community College, Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Authority and the Alpena community as a whole.

Yakes was born with Cerebral Palsy. He worked hard to overcome the physical challenges it provided him as a student. He graduated from APS in the spring of 2020 with a high school diploma, an early college certificate and earned 44 college credits while in the Alpena Early College program.

As an APS student, he was assigned an Instructional Aide by the district to assist with his needs and allow him to attend college. After graduating Alpena High School, Deven wanted to continue on his educational path toward his career goal of pharmacy but wasn’t sure how he could attend school without an aide to assist him. For a time last fall, his grandmother accompanied him to class in order to assist him.

“I’m thankful for her help, but also, having to bring your grandmother along for your college experience isn’t optimal,” Yakes said.

He continued to look for solutions that would help him to complete his degree. It was then that he became aware of Self Determination offered through Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Authority. This service delivery model provided funding for him to hire someone to assist him in order for him to achieve his personal and educational goals and exercise his independence.

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He has since completed his Associate in Science degree at Alpena Community College and has plans to attend Wright State University which has traditional post-secondary educational programs but also offers a campus dedicated to serving the needs of students with disabilities.

Yakes has inspired many who have met him along the way and hopes to act as an advocate for all those with disabilities.

“People with disabilities may need to approach things differently, but we have the ability to achieve our goals for both career and education, letting people know about this initiative would bridge a significant gap for many disabled students looking to pursue higher education,” Yakes said.

For more information on Alpena Early College or Alpena Public School please contact Lee Fitzpatrick, APS director of communications at 989-358-5043 or fitzpatrickl@alpenaschools.com.

For more information on ACC Student Support Services, contact Nancy Seguin, ACC dean of students, at seguinn@alpenacc.edu.

For more information on the benefits of Dual Enrollment and Early College contact ACC President Don MacMaster at macmastd@alpenacc.edu.

For more information on Self-Determination offered by NEMCMHA, please contact Self-Determination Supervisor Teresa Elowsky at 989-358-7608.

To request services at NEMCMHA, call 989-356-2161 or 800- 968-1964 or TTY 711.



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