Allison Defies the Diagnosis

The Roanoke campus was pleased to announce their first certification of a No Bounds student – Allison Van Doren – at the annual Spring Soiree in March. Allison took courses as a non-degree seeking (NDS) student, and just received her CMA license.

Her accomplishment (and many more!) were showcased at the awards celebration recognizing the special achievements made by the students in the No Bounds program.

ECPI University’s Dr. Tina Bhandari, who created and leads this initiative at the Roanoke campus, says No Bounds provides educational and vocational opportunities for young adults with special needs.

For individuals like Allison, “there is typically nothing after high school,” she says. “The end goal for students in the No Bounds program is for them to have the knowledge they need to get a job.”

Growing up, Allison Van Doren wanted to be a preschool teacher, but had to rethink her plan because of unique medical diagnoses. In the No Bounds program, she’s flourished. “In the beginning, I complained every term that I wasn’t going to pass, but I always ended up getting an A or B,” said Allison.

Allison just needed continued confidence and support.

“She was trying to do what she never thought she could do. We held her hand and told her she could do one class at a time,” says Dr. Bhandari. “I would push her a little in the beginning, and she would get the highest or second highest grade in the class! By the end, she wasn’t calling me at all.”

Allison’s favorite class was Medical Office Procedure. “We learned about the front office,” she said. “I did a lot of highlighting for that one!”

She still loves being around kids, and has a long-term goal of working in pediatrics one day. Now that she’s got a certification under her belt, Allison’s applying for part-time medical assisting jobs in the Roanoke area and participating in the Special Olympics.

Good luck, Allison!

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