An Interview with Madison Williams

Lawrie: What does the word Transition mean to you? 
Madison: To move from one part of your life to a new part of your life.

L: Do you have experience with transition in your life?
M: Yes. I am in the first year of my Transition Program moving from high school to adult life.

L: What has that been like for you? 
M: There are changes. There are ups and downs; more than when I was in high school.

L: Tell me more... 
M: When I am in the transition phase I am not alone but sometimes it can feel that way. People that are in the phase with me also have their own changes they are going through. It is a lot. It can be a mix for me and other people too.

L: What do you mean by a mix? 
M: The mixed part is because some changes are hard. But some are good changes like I am taking a cooking class I really like and I am becoming more independent because I am not in school all day. I am at my jobsite at St Mary’s food bank for part of it. It is part of life to have things change.

L: What have been the hard changes? 
M: There are people who have been really important to me who know me and care about me all of my high school years and I know them and care about them and admire them and appreciate them. I don’t get to be with some of them any more. That is really hard for me. Leaving my IEP teacher who I had all four years who I love and having a brand new teacher and a brand new teacher’s assistant in a new room in a different part of the school. This is hard. It is getting better but still hard.

L: What helps you when things are hard?
M: I tell people my feelings. I choose people I tell. I tell people I trust. I know them and they know me. Sometimes I have tears. Sometimes I want to be alone and listen to my music. Some- times I hug you or dad or our dog. My friends can help me too.

L: When you think about your future what are you looking forward to? 
M: Going to a community college in South Seattle. Highline’s ACHIEVE program for young adults with intellectual challenges.

L: Is this what all students do in the second year of transition? 
M: No. Everybody is different and they are figuring out their different plans. Most people stay in Seattle Public Schools until they are 21.

L: Did you figure out this plan for you alone? 
M: No. I couldn’t. I needed help. You and dad and my IEP team, the people at Highline Community College. We had meetings and we are still talking about it a lot and we are deciding together this might be a good fit for me. This will be another change. It will take time to get used to but I think it will be a good one.

L: Do you have experience with another transition in your life? 
M: Yes. Saying Goodbye to my Pastor Joan and moving sometime to a new building.

L: Are there things you have learned from your school Transition process that you think might help you (and others) with our minister and church transition process? 
M: I would say Yes. Knowing I am never alone –there are important people and God in my life that will help me and my church community.

Madi & Lawrie have just been elected to a two-year term as Elder. They are serving together in one Elder position.