It’s hard to find the words to thank the dedicated staff of The Help Group for all they have done for our daughter Emily. With their help and support, she has developed skills to succeed in college, the workplace and in social settings. As Emily prepares to graduate from Village Glen and attend a four-year college, we are amazed by what she has overcome and accomplished. She is ranked among the top 1000 tennis players in America, and is recognized for leadership in community service. We are grateful to everyone at The Help Group who has helped Emily become an exceptional young woman with a bright future.
Lou and Marcie Werman
Parents of Emily Werman, Class of 2012
In January 2007, I came to The Help Group because the normal public school couldn’t meet my educational needs. Through the help of all my teachers, therapists and the staff, I was able to overcome many of my challenges and become the person I am today. At The Help Group every one believed in me, even when I had doubts of my own. Now, I believe I can accomplish most anything I put my mind to. I’m graduating this year and will be going to a four year college in the fall. Once I get my degree, I want to work in the field of special education so I can give back what has been given to me. I truly don’t know where I would be in life with out the support of The Help Group. Thank you so much for all you do.
Village Glen School, Class of 2012
I attended Glendale Community College for two years to begin my formal fine art and liberal arts education. I studied animation at Laguna College of Art & Design, mentored chiefly by Disney veterans Dave Kuhn and Dave Pruiksma, and graduated with cum laude honors in May of 2013. I completed my traditionally animated senior thesis and affectionate Hitchcock parody, A Little Hitch, that same month, which I am now preparing for festivals. Better still, I got to work with two of my idols during and after my time at LCAD. I worked on a team of 14 for three months to make Attack of the 50-Foot Hero, mentored gently by Eric Goldberg (Genie in Aladdin, “Rhapsody in Blue” from Fantasia/2000). Shortly after completing A Little Hitch, I animated on a promo for The Ren & Stimpy Show creator John K., who offered me additional, invaluable insights on timing and draftsmanship. As of this writing, I am seeking full-time employment in the animation industry. Best of all, I had the chance to meet some of the most passionate, enjoyable people I’ve ever known, many of them in my major. I doubt I would have achieved all of this if not for my attending Village Glen. Village Glen broke me out of my shell. Village Glen ensured that I achieved self-control in conversation and in daily practice. Village Glen jammed my brain with the classic literature required to complement, not stifle, my guileless silliness. Most importantly, Village Glen took the important step of making all the students comfortable enough to talk to each other, talk to the teachers, and, as a result, communicate clearly and confidently with the rest of the world. The public seems to regard Asperger’s Syndrome as more a mental disorder than a developmental one. AS need not define a child for life, but the child that has it needs no small amount of affection, understanding, and, most importantly, encouragement into adulthood. I owe great thanks to Village Glen, my teachers there, and the students with whom I attended, for believing in my abilities and talents and for pushing me to make the most of them.
Village Glen High School, Class of 2006