My Success Story: Mickey Maunes

I am Michael Philip Maunes, but you can call me Mickey, for short. I was born on July 3, 1988, in Manila, Philippines, to a single parent, Socorro Perlita Maunes. When I was 3 years old, I was diagnosed with mild autism or mild Asperger’s syndrome, a disability that I still have.

Photo: Mickey Maunes

Photo: Mickey Maunes

I was placed in a special school from 3 years old to 5 years old so that I could be able to do the activities my teachers told me, especially on grammar, writing, math, and music. From Preparatory to Grade 2, I was in a special education class at a regular Roman Catholic school in Manila, where I continued my education there. From Grade 3 to 5, I transferred to the regular school at the same school wherein I could get to meet new friends and get to be acquainted to the regular classroom environment. From Grade 6 until my high school graduation, I studied at Lighthouse Bible Believer’s Christian Academy in Manila. On April 22, 2006, me and my family emigrated to Canada from the Philippines. My family and I first stayed in Richmond, British Columbia but soon moved to Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where we lived for 6 years. I studied at Glenforest Secondary School in Grade 10, and at Streetsville Secondary School in Grade 11 and Grade 12, graduating with full honours and an Ontario Secondary School Diploma in June 2009.

In December of 2008, I made my decision to apply at Sheridan College for the Fall of 2009 after graduation from high school. I picked three programs of interest that I have selected from the Davis Campus at Sheridan College: General Arts and Science – University Profile, Social Service Worker, and Community Worker – Outreach and Development. After I have applied to Sheridan, I have decided to confirm my decision for the Social Service Worker program and attended Discover Sheridan so that I could get to learn about what is about the program in detail and about getting to know about the college itself.

With the help of my guidance counsellor and special education teacher, I decided to apply to the Social Service Worker program at Sheridan. When I got into Sheridan College in Fall 2009, I decided to apply to that program so that I could be able to assist people in whatever they necessarily need, especially when problems or conflicts may arise. I also got acquainted with most of the services at the college such as Accessible Learning Services and Counselling Services, where I was able to get help on my plans at school despite of my disability, and the Student Advisement Centre, where I was able to ask questions about what is going each term at Sheridan College. I also applied for the position of the Peer Mentor at Accessible Learning Services in 2010 until 2012. I worked as a Peer Mentor so that I could be able to assist students with disabilities to adapt to campus life at Sheridan. I also gained experience of helping other people through my required assistance and the practice of confidentiality at the workplace through my classes and the field placement of the Social Service Worker program.

After I graduated last school year from the Social Service Worker program, I returned to Sheridan for another program, the General Arts and Science – University Profile program, so that I could be able to catch up on my credits required for my college transcript for university and to prepare for a career in the field of speech therapy, occupational therapy, or teaching special education students in high school. I also applied for the position of the Marketing Team Member at Sheridan Student Union, Inc.  in 2013. I worked as a Marketing Team Member so that so that I could be able to help out students, staff, and faculty to promote various things to them such as events, awareness, and upcoming news from the Student Union.

I also was a Marketing Coordinator for the General Arts and Science Student Committee during the 2013-2014 school year. I also got to promote materials to all the G.A.S. program students to do things that we want to do for our committee and Sheridan. There, I continued to develop skills in marketing and communicating effectively to other people in my other program, such as my fellow schoolmates and professors.

In September of 2015, I will be venturing my education to either Sociology at University of Toronto – St. George Campus, Psychology at the University of Guelph, or Sociology at McMaster University. I will be able to tell my success story as a proud alumnus of Sheridan and how I became a successful person despite of my disability and what I have done to obtain my best achievements in life for myself and for others. I will also be planning to work as a speech therapist, an occupational therapist, or a high school special education teacher, to speak to all people, including my family and friends, about success in life and how to become successful in college.

To conclude, here are some words of encouragement from me to my family, my friends, my fellow alumni and other people at Sheridan College:

“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”

– Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919)

Plus do not forget always, that Fridays at Sheridan College will forever be Dress-Down Casual Double Blue (Blue₂), Jeans and Running Shoes Day!

Take care always and see you again soon!

–Mickey Maunes