John Meaney

Graduation Year: 2015

Post-Graduation Activities:
I was a teaching assistant at Vanguard for a couple of years and now I work in the aftercare program, Ignite, and I work as a Registered Behavior Technician in the Vanguard Center for Neurological Health.

What was your favorite thing about Vanguard?
One of my favorite things about Vanguard is how they show support in many ways such as teaching emotional skills and techniques to maintain those skills in clear and easy ways. I even use some of those techniques when needed today!

How did Vanguard help prepare you for life after graduation?
Some of the ways Vanguard helped me prepare for the future and life after graduation was by teaching me how to drive, open a bank account, deal with fears of the future and present, and how to emotionally regulate.

Do you have any significant Vanguard memories you would like to share?
One of my favorite memories, among many, is the senior trip we had back in 2015. We went to the Museum Tower in Downtown Dallas. We went swimming, played in the park across the street, played some ping pong, and more. Another favorite memory would be The Annual New Mexico trip that middle and high schoolers went on.

Were there any teachers or staff members that made a special impact on you?
The main staff members that made a special impact on me were, Veronica Nelson, Stephanie James, and Dave Welsh. They are supportive, understanding, give good advice, and teach well, encouraging me to push myself to be the best I can be! One example would be Dave assigning the class to make a PowerPoint presentation on weather. I had never really done much with PowerPoint back then, so I was very resistant to it, but Dave pushed me and told me I could do it. I did it and it came out so well that Dave wanted the Head of School to see it. She loved it and I was SO proud of myself! Thanks to Dave’s encouragements I was able to find confidence and was able to try and succeed at something new.

Is there any advice you would give to current or future Vanguard students?
I could give so much advice, though the main advice would be for everyone, not just Vanguard students: Never stay too far to one side. Try to open your eyes to new experiences. Remember that opinions are opinions and not facts. You can disagree with someone and still be kind. “Kindness costs nothing but means everything.” – Unknown.

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