When he was a schoolboy many years ago, a substitute teacher scolded Darrell Thompson because he signed the attendance sheet twice. Though his attempt at humor escaped her it wrought a harsh prediction he never forgot: “You will not amount to anything.”
Thompson graduated from John Marshall High School in Rochester, then went on to become a record-setting running back for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The two-time team MVP remains the only Gopher to rush for more than 4,000 yards.
Less than 1 percent of college players advance to the pros. Thompson hadn’t planned to play pro football until scouts began courting him. During one meeting a scout asked Thompson what he wanted to do after football, adding, “Don’t tell me you want to work with kids.” That was precisely what he planned to do.
As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on April 4, 2014. As Autism Awareness Month gets under way, it is an apt time to honor Louise Whitbeck Fraser, a pioneer in special education whose heart for children led to new initiatives and opportunities for individuals with special needs. In the winter of 1985, Tom
As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on March 7, 2014 Every year nearly 600,000 Americans start a new business. Within five years most will be defunct and few will be profitable. It is one thing to dream about abandoning the paycheck for one’s passion. It ‘s quite another to have the tools and
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As seen in the Huffington Post, April 18, 2012. Time can be our ally. It can also be our adversary. For months now I have been marking its passage with ever-growing dread. By the end of May, our school district will have fulfilled its mandate to educate my son. As its’ obligation is being extinguished,
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On September 30, 2011, I wrote a column for the St. Paul Pioneer Press about Jimmy Reagan, a young adult with autism who is an emerging artist (http://bit.ly/ntyE0A). In this guest blog post, his mother, Peg Schneeman Reagan, provides a fascinating update. Over the last six months, Jimmy’s art has been growing in ways that
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A growing number of young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder are reaching adulthood. Families are searching for options and opportunities; for living arrangements that work and employment opportunities that are well designed and meaningful. In the coming weeks, I will highlight programs and opportunities that are in place. It’s a starting point for families like
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