The Story of Sean
Growing up, Sean never understood why he sailed through certain tasks with ease, yet struggled tremendously with others. A star athlete who graduated top of his high school class, he found his learning challenges inconsistent and frustrating. The fast pace of college was particularly challenging. Spurred by his love of science and a dream of becoming a physician, Sean began college as a pre-med chemistry major, but found he could not handle the work load.
He made a difficult decision to switch from a career in medicine to business. He even entertained thoughts of dropping out, but his family values of hard work and his belief in the importance of education kept him in school.
After years of struggling to learn, Sean found his way to the Stern Center. It is a tribute to Sean that he had the courage and belief in himself to acknowledge that something wasn’t quite right. His drive to find out why brought him to the Stern Center—a place he feels provided him with the insight and tools he needed to continue to pursue his dreams.
In his words: “It changed my life forever… before I came to the Stern Center I always thought I was so stupid. When I received my evaluation report, I was elated to finally find answers to all the confusion about why some things came so easily to me and others were extremely difficult. They told me my intellectual functioning was in the 99 percentile, yet my processing speed for reading was down in the 14 percentile. I remember they asked do you know what this means ....it means you can do anything you want.” Sean will forever remember that moment. “I was so stunned that I couldn’t speak. I just got up and left. I got into my pickup truck and cried all the way home.”
Sean has a passion for learning. He finds reading nonfiction a favorite past time. His room is stacked with hundreds of books on subjects ranging from philosophy and biology to physics and real estate. He laughs, thinking it might be the time to build a taller bookcase.
Sean’s love of learning extends beyond academic interests. He passionately enjoys snowboarding, hiking, fishing and music. Sean established his own carpentry business and was able to repay his scholarships from the Stern Center, which he had intended as “loans with interest” from the outset.. He was able to give back to a place that changed his life forever. His decision to repay his own Stern Center scholarship so other students can receive the same opportunity is truly inspirational.
Sean is currently contributing even more to the Stern Center as the first former student to serve on the Board of Directors and as a spokesperson who has traveled and presented his story to various community and educational groups throughout Vermont and across the country.