Name: John Michaels Major: Psychology & Sociology Year: 2008 Current Position: Assistant Director at Resources for Independence
Q & A
Why did you choose your major? When I started working for Resources for Independence (RFI), The Western MD Center
for Independent Living, I knew the Human Service field is what I wanted to do as a
career. Working with others with disabilities was going to be my career path. The
reason I chose Psychology & Sociology at ACM was that I wanted to be able to understand
more on the counseling side of being able to understand the emotional effects of a
disability. I have a physical disability, and the more I worked at RFI, I was dealing
with many more types of disabilities, such as Psychological, Visual, and Hearing.
I think I have a better understanding of what someone is going through than what an
able-bodied individual experiences daily.
What advice would you give to students interested in your career path? Working in the Human Service field, the rewards of helping others deal with day to
day obstacles and challenges outweighs the amount of money you make. While you can
make a good living in this field, the benefits of helping others deal with these types
of issues are more rewarding than any amount of money.
What was your overall experience at ACM? My experience at ACM was great! I was a non-traditional student, and ACM helped me
build great study habits. I was able to apply those skills, techniques when it came
to learning the curriculum, and further my education at Frostburg State University.
In high school, I never applied myself. Coming to ACM, I had to figure out ways to
Who was your favorite ACM factuality/staff member? Why? My favorite faculty member during the time I was at ACM was Kurt Hoffman. As I said,
I was a non-traditional student while at ACM. Dr. Hoffman was my advisor during my
time at ACM, but we also became friends after I graduated at ACM. He saw so much in
me, the potential that I had no idea I had in me. His door was always open when I
was struggling, not only in school but also in life! He treats everyone as an equal
and as a person.
What is your greatest achievement in your career? Some of my greatest achievements have been being able to advocate for others with
disabilities to achieve goals they never thought were possible: furthering their education,
finding employment, living independently, and driving an accessible vehicle.
Additional comments or reflections you would like to share about your experience at
ACM. I had a great experience during my time at ACM and met many faculty members and students
that were very helpful and caring. For the past ten years or so, I’ve been asked to
share my experience as a Quadriplegic with the Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) &
Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Programs. I appreciate the “hands-on” learning
approach the PTA & OTA Programs have developed. There is no one better to learn from
than someone that has experienced it!