CIP Berkeley's 2017 Convocation

Berkeley Convocation

On Friday May 26th 2017, community members, families, friends, staff and students, all gathered at the historic Berkeley City Club to celebrate CIP Berkeley’s 2016-2017 program year. As a community we celebrated students success stories, acknowledged the contributions of staff, families, and community members, reflected on the journey we collaboratively ventured on, and expressed gratitude for the pivotal role each person played in making this past year a success for our students.

This year marks CIP Berkeley’s 10-year anniversary. Alumni ambassadors and staff effectively collaborated to ensure that this convocation would stand out as one of the most memorable convocations. To kick off our celebration, the Berkeley center was transformed into a beautiful meet and greet welcome reception for all parents and family members of students. Staff and students greeted and welcomed families and friends with gracious arms and warm smiles. Students selected to play upbeat music to help create a more celebratory and exciting environment. As a CIP family, we laughed, shared stories, and enjoyed the moment, all while enjoying a delicious lunch. According to students, the sparkling apple cider, cupcakes and macaroons made the reception even that more enjoyable. 

At the conclusion of the welcome reception, shuttle service was provided to families from the Center to Berkeley City Club. Other staff members escorted families on a short scenic walk tour, to the location, to capture some of the downtown Berkeley experience. Upon arrival, guest were greeted with a grand piano being played by our extremely accomplished student, and pianist, Ethan. The celebration began with a Welcome Speech from our Regional Director, Michael Noel, who highlighted the purpose of us gathering for Convocation. Michael also shared with families some of the emerging changes at the Berkeley Center, which includes relocating to a new facility, refining of curriculums, and strengths of having a solid team to raise the expectations for our students successes. 

CIP Berkeley Convocation

See more photos from Convocation on our Flickr page.

The welcoming continued with our Assistant Program Director, Pilar Page, who enthusiastically recognized and celebrated the contribution of all students, families and their guests. Following, Pilar recognized the dedication, commitment and hard work of all staff at the Berkeley Center, as well as the collaborative efforts from all of CIP, including the National Office, Berkshire, Bloomington, Brevard and Long Beach locations. Staff were all celebrated with a standing ovation to express and show gratitude and appreciation. Please visit our website to learn more about our amazing CIP Berkeley Staff.

Following the welcome, CIP students shared various speeches under the leadership of our Social Skills Coordinator, Mike Vaughn. A short film then followed that introduced the upcoming Winter Break Trip to Tokyo, Japan. This will be a great opportunity for students to experience the world while expanding their social horizon. 

This year at Convocation, every student was thoughtfully recognized by staff and was awarded an individualized award that captured their own personal growth and achievements. Staff all created thoughtful and powerful speeches that really captured the growth of students within their departments. In addition, internship sites and members of the community were recognized for their commitment, and support, of CIP and our students.The awards and recipients include:



Members of the Community

Mary Ciddio, Merritt College

Internship Sponsor Award

City Slickers Farm

Recognition for Community Partnership

Bonnie Whitcomb

First Year Outstanding Progress

Emma V

Upperclassman Outstanding Progress

Jeffrey J

Transition to Independence

Aaron S

Academic Excellence

Midhun T

Career Excellence

Ben L

Social Skills Excellence

Aaron K

Life Skills Excellence

Malcolm G

Wellness Excellence

Jacob F

Recreational Excellence

Evan W

Creative Arts Excellence

Alex M

Multimedia Excellence

Cory K

Leadership Excellence

Alex S

Outstanding Attendance

Jake L

Community Service Excellence

Tyler D

Excellence in Personalized Budgeting Skills

Ana K

Jacob K

Community Engagement

Ethan P

Culinary Excellence

Tyler M

Following the awards ceremony all students were gifted a padfolio from both the Regional Director, Michael Noel, and the Assistant Director, Pilar Page, as a surprise gift. The padfolio serves as a symbolic representation that captures students growth and professional development while at CIP. Students will be able to store their most updated resume, cover letters, disclosure letters and professional references in their padfolios, so that they are prepared and equipped for future interviews and their future career endeavours. 

CIP Berkeley Convocation

In closing, Pilar had parents, families, friends and community members all stand to be recognized for their contribution and support of CIP and our students. She expressed that a large percent of student success are due to the proper support and investment from families and the dedicated students at CIP. She thanked everyone for joining us in celebration, and invited all families to join us for photos after the ceremony.

It was truly a remarkable convocation ceremony, which would not have been possible without our students, families, community members and our CIP worldwide network and staff. We received many compliments from parents shortly after the celebration, indicating how impressed and delighted they were with the overall experience from start to finish. It has truly been a great year here at CIP Berkeley, and we are looking forward to mailing out our CIP family photos that were professionally taken, to students, families and community members. 

Thank you to those that were able to attend. To those that were unable to join us, we know you were there in spirit. And last but not least, thank you to those that have supported us throughout this year. It’s a great time to be a CIP Berkeley Shark, and we are looking forward to another exceptional year in our new location!

About College Internship Program

The College Internship Program is a comprehensive transition program for young adults on the Autism Spectrum and with Learning Differences. Our Mission is to inspire independence and expand the foundation on which young adults with Autism, ADHD, and other Learning Differences can build happy and productive lives.