Celebration for College Plus Program

Brigget Neirotti

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In the Gallagher Room on Tuesday, April 24 there will be a 10 year anniversary celebration for the College Plus program, a program designed to help students struggling with mental illnesses in college, provided by Voice & Vision Inc.

College Plus provides support for those who are diagnosed with a mental illness or co-occurring disorder that are trying to acquire a college education. Help is provided through emotional support, goal identification, and in some cases obtaining finances. It welcomes all those that have struggled with mental health issues; a person can still attend the support groups without being a member of College Plus.

This upcoming celebration is meant to give an overview of the program and commemorate those it has helped thus far at Bucks. Those in attendance will also get to hear speeches from board members of the nonprofit organization Voice & Vision Inc. as well as from College Plus Co-Leaders Mindy Haas and Caren Noonan, and success stories from former College Plus students. Additional speakers may be added as the event draws closer.  

Currently this event is only open to those who received an invite via email. There are only 150 seats available for the event, so priority was given to former College Plus students, staff from Bucks that interact with the program, some providers from the community, and a few individuals from Bucks County Department of Mental Health. If any students are interested in attending the event, they can contact the event coordinator Mindy Haas at [email protected] to see if there are any open seats.

The event is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; half the time will be dedicated to speakers, and the other half will be open for networking and socializing. Snacks and beverages will be provided for attendees.

Haas describes College Plus as “a stepping stone for students to start their college experience or restart their college experience after being through difficult times.” She says that many of the students in the program have been through some rough patches in life and are in a better place now, seeking help to get started on the next chapter whether it be college or finding a job.

As of now, the only school College Plus is directly working with is Bucks County Community College, although the program is open to all Bucks County residents. The program has considered reaching out to other colleges, but it is still in the initial stages of that process.

Since its beginning in 2007, over 100 students have sought help from College Plus and about 30-50 percent of the students stay in college or pursuit of a career, according to Voice & Vision Inc.’s website.

Those who are looking to become a part of College Plus can do so by applying online at https://voiceandvisioninc.org/college-plus-application. Students that apply will be contacted by a College Plus Representative to set up an appointment.

This event is being sponsored by the Accessibility Office on campus, but any general questions should be directed to Voice & Vision Inc. through their office number at (800) 734-5665.

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