Eric’s Story & Green Goddess Cafe!

Close collaboration between the College Steps program and Lamoille County Mental Health Services have helped Eric successfully graduate from Northern University’s Johnson campus with the skills needed for self-sufficiency both in the workforce and to live independently.

Eric enrolled in College Steps, a campus-based academic support service. When it was time for Eric to do an internship as part of his college plan, Waterbury’s Stowe Street Cafe brought him on board where he started in the kitchen and worked the front of the café. College Steps staff, the café owner, and Eric worked together in shaping opportunities for him not only to learn job duties but to also the soft skills all employees need.

Eric graduated from Northern University with a Certificate of Higher Learning. Eric’s increased confidence and social skills acquired during his two years in College Steps resulted in his becoming employed at the Green Goddess Café in Stowe. Work at this popular spot was challenging at first, as busy lunches and large crowds could be overwhelming.

College Steps and Lamoille County Mental Health’s Supported Employment staff assisted the owners and Eric in problem solving both on and off the job. Job support was helpful, but Eric’s growth and success arose largely from his own determination to do well at the Green Goddess. Eric accomplished this by using the problem solving and social skills he learned during college. The owners say Eric is hard working and are glad to call him their employee.

Eric’s home provider and service coordinator worked in unison to assist Eric to continue his journey and accomplish his dreams for employment, his own apartment and further education.

Eric has kept his dreams alive by enrolling at Community College of Vermont while maintaining his job at the Green Goddess. Eric’s evolution has enabled him to sustain his college studies using only natural supports, while living independently in his own apartment. The culmination of Eric’s hard work, perseverance, and long-term vision will be his graduation this spring when he receives his Associate degree.

Eric’s response to his progress and accomplishments? “You can’t begin to fathom how much hard work, perseverance, and a little help from the people around you can really pay off in the end… because in the end, the payoff from overcoming your own obstacles leading up to this point weighs as much as all the gold in Fort Knox.”

Sharing knowledge about Graphic Design/Marketing


At our NOVA Loudoun program, Rose Pleskow has been studying graphic design and marketing. Learning to use the design software applications, like Illustrator and Photoshop, take a lot of practice and patience. Taylor, Loudoun’s Program Coordinator, linked Rose and Kim, College Steps Community Coordinator on a Google Hangout to talk about a few struggles Rose was having using Illustrator. With a few tips and short keys recommendations, Rose practiced and quickly figured out the issue she was having! Way to go Rose. :)

NVU Johnson Student Interns at Sequist Animal Hospital


NVU Johnson Student, Paul Marcoux, has begun an internship at Sequist Animal Hospital in Morrisville, Vermont. Paul says “I really enjoy working animals and their families. I also help out with the merchandise. Everyone is very nice. Also, if the timing works out they will let watch the x ray machine, shots and dental work!” Paul looks forward to helping continue to merchandise and sit in on animal patient visits.

Have You Heard About ADVANCE?



ADVANCE is an exciting new partnership between Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and George Mason University (Mason) that gives NOVA students targeted, personalized support to complete their bachelor's degrees in a timely manner and save money.

Who Is Eligible?

ADVANCE is available to all new and current NOVA students with 0-30 degree applicable credits earned, who plan to transfer to Mason to pursue a bachelor’s degree in any of the programs offered.

What Programs Are Offered?

ADVANCE offers degrees in some of the most in-demand fields in the Northern Virginia region, filling critical workforce needs and preparing you for success in your career.

Learn more by clicking here.

Poise Under Pressure

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Jack Clark is a first-year student at Johnson State College in Northern Vermont. He is passionate about sports and is currently taking classes in sports management.

For several years, Jack has served as an announcer at high school hockey games, and this past year launched his own sports talk show on the campus radio station 90.7 WJSC.

But a couple of weeks ago, Jack’s producer had to cancel on him at the last minute. Determined to get his show on the air, Jack reached out to College Steps peer mentors Erik and Ally who were happy to come manage the soundboard while he hosted the show.

Great work under pressure Jack, and thank you to Erik and Ally. To check out Jack's sports blog visit: