For obvious reasons, “college was a very big step for us,” explained Linda Morales, Nicholas’ mom. Then there was the cost. “Any help was appreciated and helpful to relieve some of the burden.”

Nico’s family was thrilled to learn they would be awarded some scholarship monies from Educational Foundation For Independence (EFFI) to help defray the cost of College Living Experience (CLE), a college support program for alternative learners such as Nico.  That really sweetened the deal last year when he was part of the CLE program in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Nico attended Nova Southeastern University on full academic scholarship.

The scholarship monies from EFFI helped make CLE a bit more affordable for the family.

But was it enough to make a difference/impact?

“Ohmigosh!” exclaimed Linda, “it’s like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. For his first 17 years, I was Nico’s CLE. It’s such a good feeling to know I wasn’t throwing him to the wolves by sending him off to college—CLE provides a strong safety net.”

Any parent sending a child off to college for the first time can certainly understand the feeling. Pile on some other issues of autism spectrum disorder and well, it’s a whole new ball of wax.

Nico’s mom went on to talk about how much “he’s grown and matured—and not just with school-related matters. I’ve seen strides in how he adjusts to new situations, his organizational skills and he even takes care of two cats.”