Introducing Colby’s Crossroads
My name is Colby Dudal and I have been associated with Community Crossroads throughout my entire life. I am a new employee for Community Crossroads and I will be writing blog posts about myself, the company and people who are involved with Community Crossroads in a wide variety of ways. Long before I received the opportunity to write for Community Crossroads, I began to receive a lot of help from them. In December of 1996, I was born with CHARGE syndrome. This means I was born with challenges such as a heart condition known as Tetralogy of Fallot, cleft lift and palate and diagnosed with failure to thrive which meant I needed a feeding tube when I was younger. I needed a feeding tube in order to gain weight as I could not consume food in the typical way. Some other challenges of CHARGE syndrome are visual and audio difficulties. I wear both glasses and hearing aids to help me in life, particularly in the classroom. I have had several heart surgeries throughout my life, some of which before I was even a year old and there will likely be more in the future. Due to my health issues, these things have been necessary for me to have a good life and achieve my goals.
Throughout my time in school, I have had accommodations in the classroom such as sitting up front in classes, to having enlarged tests, to having the teacher wear an FM system in the front of the class so that I can hear them better. Outside of the classroom I had an Orientation and Mobility Specialist as well as a Vision Specialist that would work with me at school. Throughout my time in school I have had to advocate for myself in order to have these accommodations and to make sure I was getting the help that I needed. Thankfully teachers have always been understanding and willing to listen to what I needed to be successful in the classroom. Without being an advocate for myself, I may have gotten worse grades than I did or had a lower confidence level.
In 2015, I began attending Keene State College with a major in Journalism: News Media. This would be my first time away from home for a long period of time and I knew that I would have to be an advocate for myself in order to succeed in such a new and different place. By maintaining a close bond with the people who worked in the disability service department at KSC as well and explaining to professors what I needed, I was able to have a successful time at KSC. By the end of college I graduated with a GPA of 3.525 which means I received honors. Some of my accomplishments in college included being the Student Life Editor for the school newspaper, “The Equinox” as well as interning for the local chamber of commerce in Keene. One aspect of my major that I have always really enjoyed has been speaking with people who have an interesting story to tell that may not be heard enough. I have enjoyed interviewing people and getting to know them and that is something that I look forward to working at Community Crossroads. This is a job that will help me to continue doing what I love which is getting to know people and their stories and getting those stories out for more people to hear. I look forward to learning more about people who are a part of Community Crossroads and learning more about different aspects of the company.
At the beginning of this blog I mentioned being apart of Community Crossroads for a long time as they have helped me succeed throughout the years. The organization has helped me with speech issues, learning how to walk, having a support system throughout all of the surgeries I’ve had and live a better life. Community Crossroads has been there throughout my entire life and I am thankful for that.
The name of my blog will be called Colby’s Crossroads. There are two reasons why I wanted to name it this. The first reason is because I am currently at a “crossroads” in my life. Now that I have graduated from college I am trying to figure out what is next for me in life and which direction I want to take. Graduating from college and going into the real world is a big change and a crossroad in the lives of many. The second reason I wanted to name the blog Colby’s Crossroads is because I am writing blogs for Community Crossroads. I have been associated with Community Crossroads for so long that it only seems fitting that the name of my blog would incorporate the name of the place I am now working. Colby’s Crossroads felt like the right name to give to my blogs. This will be the first of many blogs I will be writing for Community Crossroads. There will be blog posts in the future about events, people, jobs and much more.