Stirling Peebles

Stirling Peebles dining at UVM in her UVM sweatshirt

Stirling Peebles

Stirling Peebles grew up in Montpelier,Vermont with her brother and sister.  She is a student at UVM through the Think College Vermont grant, and she is having an awesome time.  She hopes to get a major in the film production and screenwriting at UVM after Think College is over.

There are so many interesting and fun things that she likes to do on the UVM campus.  She enjoys playing racquetball, playing pool, and going to the library.  She likes having fun on the campus, and making new friends.

Things I have learned on the job as the Think College Dissemination Assistant

List 5 things you have learned on this job that surprised you.  It could be lessons about people, relationships, business, the industry, customers-maybe even about yourself! Ask yourself what new information or wisdom you have learned since you started this job.

  1. I have learned communication is essential to working with co-workers and supervisors. It helps me express my needs, so I can do my work more effectively.
  2. I’m getting better about responding to feedback from my supervisor very well. I now ask for feedback when I need it.
  3. I respect my co-workers.
  4. Doing some really cool projects with my co-workers.
  5. I look forward to each day I work for Think College Vermont and it’s awesome.


This blog post is about transitioning out of the Think College program and opening new doors in your future.  There is something everyone should know letting go is one of the toughest things anyone has to go though as young adults with disabilities.  Think College Vermont is an amazing program and the students, mentors and staff have created an amazing friendships with each other.  As a member of the Think College staff I find the friendships between the students and the mentors very powerful.  This is where the transition out of the Think College Vermont program becomes hard and emotional for the students.  For example, Think College has changed a lot of lives for many of the students, mentors and staff in the program.

Transitioning out of Think college Vermont is not an easy task to do because it was an awesome experience and we all enjoyed it.  Transitioning from one thing to another is very hard for some students, but it can open up new doors for new and exciting opportunities.  For example, by getting my education in the Think College program, another door opened for me and I got a cool job out of it working at CDCI. This became a new door and exciting opportunity for me because I enjoy working.  Life is all about transitioning from to one thing to the next and it can be amazing or it might be sad.  We all have awesome memories from Think College and they will last forever.

It’s very difficult to transition out of Think College Vermont  because we all have created amazing friendships with each other. It’s very important to keep in touch.

Learning the “Soft Skills To Pay the Bills” 

What are the Soft Skills have I learned at Think College and how do I use them at work?

  1. Communication
  2. Enthusiasm and Attitude
  3. Teamwork
  4. Networking
  5. Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
  6. Professionalism

When I was student at Think College I was introduced to the “Soft Skills To Pay The Bills” and this was a part of the Vocational Internship class.   As a student I used to go to the Cyber-Cafe at the Bailey-Howe Library and did three journal entries about my internship at ORCA Media. There would be a video on one of these skills, then I wrote an entry about that video. Last year I got a job as the Think College Dissemination Assistant and I kept referring to these Soft Skills. I thought the Soft Skills were useful in my Internship class, so I thought I could use them at my new job.

I use these Soft Skills while working at Think College and I have seen a huge change.  I’ve started communicating with my co workers and that is great.  Through communicating I totally been giving and receiving  feedback from my co workers on projects.  The other soft skill I’ve been using is teamwork and working with someone is very rewarding.  Working together can be a great way to strengthen your relationship with your co-workers and it can be amazing at the same time.  One thing I have found while working with my co-workers in the Think College office is that we all have something unique to share.

Applying Job Skills to Real Employment

How did I apply the 30 Ways to shine skills at my Think College job?

I decided to start using this textbook for my job as the Think College Dissemination Assistant.  I found four skills I can apply to my job, so I’m taking notes and observations in a notebook. The four skills were: Clarifying Performance Goals, Choosing to Think Positive, Controlling your Anger and Benefiting from Praise and Criticism-Responding to Feedback. Working through these skills in a notebook got me to examine my work habits. This is how I picked these particular four skills to focus on and what can I improve in those areas.  This got me to think about my employment skills on the job.

As I read the textbook and I wrote annotations in a notebook.  Another thing I did was copy the questions, so I could answer them.  Doing this textbook helped me to figure out where I was in life.  This amazing book opened my eyes to new work experiences and new skills and applying it to my work.  I now find myself loving what I do and 30 Ways to Shine has helped me with that.

Spread the Word to End the Word

As the Think College Dissemination Assistant I’m hosting a Spread the Word to End the Word table at the Davis Center from 1:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon on March 27, 2015. A few students from the Think College program will help me run this event and we are looking forward to it.   This event is a way to help educate everyone at UVM about the R-word and to help each other to be aware of it.  I hope we have a great turn out at the Davis Center and I hope to see many of you around during the afternoon.

What are the things I’m learning at my job?

The most essential thing I have learned is taking feedback and keeping an open mind about it.  At first I took the feedback personally, but I realized it was to help my work improve.  I had a hard time accepting feedback from my supervisor because I was still adjusting to a new job.  I have never worked with my current supervisor before and it was tough accepting feedback from her.  When I received feedback from my supervisor I totally thought she was giving me negative feedback.  This is one of the best things I have learned at my job as the Dissemination Assistant and it feels good.  I love getting feedback on my work because I want to improve it with another person who has fresh eyes.  Having “fresh eyes” can help zoom in on specific things like you need to add quotes in articles, presentations or videos. This is the reason why I love feedback.

The other essential thing I have learned is having a great communication with your employers.  While I’m working at Think College I get to work on communicating with the staff.  Communication is key to understanding what goes on between you and your supervisors.  For example, when I check into work when I work from home I call my supervisor and we discuss my work plan for the day. This is where communication plays a major role for both employee and supervisors.  The more I communicate with my supervisors at Think College and we can communicate as a team.

My First Staff Meeting

I was asked to do a presentation about a project I was working on called the “Life History Project.” The director of CDCI wanted me to present this at the CDCI staff meeting on September, 10th.  The first thing I did was write a speech about who I was and what I did for the Life History Project.  I practiced the speech a few times because I wanted it to be good.  I chose to play one of the videos for two minutes during my presentation, so the staff could see what I did.  I did all of this preparing because I wanted to have a great presentation.

I went to my first CDCI staff meeting as the Think College Dissemination Coordinator.  As I arrived at the staff meeting and that is where I felt a little nervous.  The first thing I did was mingle with the other staff members before the meeting started. The first presentation was about teamwork and that was great.  I learned how to be a better team member and that made me think about my role in the Think College office. For example, if I get resources I can share it with my team members in the Think College office.

My First  Presentation as The New Think College Staff

As part of my job at Think College I got the opportunity to attend my first  mentor orientation as the new employee of Think College.  I was asked to do a presentation at the  orientation and I was excited to do it.   During the orientation I gave a presentation on the Social Media we use at Think College and demonstrated one of them on the LCD screen.  I  talked about Pinterest and that is where I demonstrated how to use this particular site.  During my presentation I felt comfortable and totally confident for doing a great job on my presentation.  This gave me a chance to see myself grow as the new employee of Think College and this can help me improve on my presentation skills for the future.

The Power of Resources

There is a textbook called “30 Ways to Shine As a New Employee,” and it’s also a guide to success in the workplace.  I decided to start using this textbook for my new job as the Think College Dissemination Assistant.  I found four skills I can apply to my job, so I’m taking notes and observations in a notebook. The four skills are the following: Benefiting From Praise and Criticism, Choosing To Think Positive, Breaking  Bad Habits Of The Mind and Clarifying Performance Goals. These skills take time to develop, but if I keep on it they get easier.  I wanted to use  this textbook for my job and I knew I wanted to choose four specific skills to focus on.

The first skill I’ve been focusing on is Clarifying Performance goals, so I can understand what I’m supposed to be working on for my job.  For example, one of my work goals is to check on all social media sites for Think College and to make posts on them.  This particular work goal is making me write down the amount of views we get on each of them. I’ll keep everyone updated about my progress in the textbook.

What was positive about my day at Work

1. I have been working on a video for 3 months and the video is called Think College-The Road Less Traveled. This video is about the campus life and what’s it like being a real college student. I went around to all of the students and Mentors and interviewed them about campus life and what’s it like being a real college student.  I will keep everyone in the loop

2. The next thing is I’m grateful for my mentor

3. Feeling good about myself and having a great day.

4. Helping out a friend by sending an e mail about the Career Center schedule.

Thank You

This weekend I will finally get my Professional certificate after two years in the Think College Program at UVM.  I’m very excited to hold my very first professional certificate and I know it’s going to be emotional for me.  This is going to be a bitter sweet moment and it’s going to be fun.

I want to say thank you to Bryan for all of you amazing support and friendship throughout these past two years.  Thank you for taking a chance on me for the Think College Program. Thank You Bryan Dague.

Think College Dissemination Coordinator Fun

I’m very excited to be the new Think College Dissemination Coordinator and I really like this job. I get to do something that I love to do and that happens to be using social media because I find it be a lot of fun.  Another thing I love to do is film-making and making really great quality videos. This is why I am so excited to be working with Think College staff and it’s so much fun. 

Disability Awareness Day-Press Conference

The Disability Awareness Day was hosted by the Vermont Coalition For Disability Rights at the State House in Montpelier, Vermont.  This wonderful event happened last Wednesday and it’s all about self advocacy.  During the day the self advocates and many others had a chance to talk to their legislators about barriers they face and what is important to them.  Some of the main topics during the day were: housing, funding for healthcare, education and employment.  These are some important topics for people with disabilities, and also for self advocates.

During mid morning there was a press conference about employment and raising minimum wage. This years keynote speaker was Chester A Finn who is from Albany, New York.  He was appointed by President Obama in 2010 to be on the National Council on Disability. Chester is blind and has a developmental disability.  He was the first speaker at the press conference followed by Dr. Bryan Dague.

Dr. Bryan Dague works at the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion at the University of Vermont. He talked about supported employment and  finding the right job match for everyone.  For example,  Bryan helped me to find two internships that matched my interests and hobbies.

My New Job: Think college Dissemination Assistant

As the new Think college Dissemination Assistant I want everyone to know more about what I’m doing for think College.  This position as the Think College Dissemination Assistant creates and maintain a blog, writes articles and use different media outlets to share information.  The other essential functions of my job is to be responsible for the blog.  As a part of my job I get to use all the social networking web sites like: Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube.  Another great part of this job I get to create videos and edit them for the Think College Program.

Operating The Switcher : In The Control Room

Internships 073

The next part of the day I was learning to operate the studio cameras from a switcher in the control room because they were doing a TV show called “On The Road”.  I got to meet the host of this show and he was really nice and great.  I helped to set up the studio for the shoot, and I got some of the most important equipment for the show. I thought that was totally cool and a lot of fun.




Think College on LinkedIn

I finished Think College in December of 2013 and I was hired to work for University of Vermont.  I’m the new Think College Dissemination Assistant and I’m in charge of the Social Media web sites for the Think College program.  This is the first of many blog posts I’ll do for this job and I promise they won’t be dull or boring.  I want to tell you something that is very cool and it involves a site called LinkedIn.  I officially got Think College Vermont on LinkedIn, so please connect with us on LinkedIn.

WCAX Goodbye Party

The beach party

This is how I ended my Internship at WCAX last Tuesday morning. It had a Beach party theme.  I thought it was very bitter sweet and I had an amazing internship experience. I posted one of my favorite pictures from the party, because it shows me with three incredible people who gave me a chance to do what I love.  Thank you for an incredible semester.

When I first got the internship I was thrilled and totally excited to be working at WCAX.  I never would of thought I would be doing my internship at the most popular Channel 3 News station.  I took several things away from this internship and one thing is making new connections in the same field I want to be in as well.  The other thing I took away is making new friends and hopefully stay connected with them.  The third thing I took away with this internship is learning new filming and editing skills.  The last thing I took away from this opportunity is focusing on what is important to you as you build your career path.

Learning About iMovie

I was working for CDCI during the summer and this is how I learned about this video editing software. I was making videos for the Think College YouTube channel.

I’m learning a lot about the Imovie software, because I have never used this particular video editing software in my professional life.  I think IMovie is totally interesting and it has been really fun to use a brand new piece of software I never knew about.  Let me tell you about the first time I used Imovie and it was not a dull moment.  The first thing I did in IMovie was picking and choosing the right materials I needed for my first project.  At first I had a hard time gathering the materials, because the layout is split in four different ways.. I found that to be very interesting but a little annoying at times.  I thought Imovie was a little bit complicated, but there is so much to learn from this software.

The more we learn about something new, the knowledge will give us a better understanding of what we are learning about like Imovie.  After using IMovie I feel like my knowledge of this software is different then the first time I used it.  The more I use IMovie I know I can have a sharper knowledge of this software, and have a better understanding of it.

My First Film Class

I will be taking Development of Motion Picture from the 1930’s, at the Waterman building, and that is going to be fun to explore.  I haven’t spend that much time at the Waterman building, and that will be cool. I hope this class is interesting, and I hope it’s going to be a lot of fun. I know this class is going to give me a better understanding about films during the 1930’s. this is the first film class I have taken at UVM, and it’s going to be great.  I’m ready to start the Next semester, and it’s going to be a blast. I can’t wait to meet my next professor, and I hope he is as cool as my first professor.

I will be at UVM three days next semester, and I will have film screenings on Wednesday nights from 4:00 to 7:00.  I hope the screenings will be fun, and I think it’s going to be totally awesome. I will write a blog entry everyday this fall to let everyone know about what I’m doing in class, and I will keep everyone posted..


Introduction To Acting

I’m taking Introduction to Acting at the Royal Tyler Theater at 10:00 in the morning. The instructor tells us to get into a circle in the middle of the room. During this time I feel totally calm and peaceful when I’m in the circle doing acting warm ups. The other fun activity we do is mincing vocals from the instructor. The instructor is totally neat, and he seems to be really cool.  This was my first impression I had of my acting instructor.

The first assignment he gave to us was a handout on Contraction, and I thought that was a very interesting reading assignment.  It was totally helpful to understand that actors need to have a deep contraction. Stirls

The Dorm Room Experience

As I write this journal entry I’m lying on Anna’s bed in her dorm room, and it’s totally cool.  I’m having a great time hanging out with my friend Anna, and it’s been totally fun.  Tonight is the screening of the video contest at the Davis Center.  Anna and I will be having supper at the Davis center. It’s going to be fun watching the other video entries at the screening tonight, and we will also find out who wins after the screening.  It’s going to be exciting, and that should be a great time. I would totally like to live in a dorm room sometime in the future, because I know now it’s great thing to do.


Student in a UVM Dorm

 My First IPAD

I finally got my new IPad today and it’s very neat.  I have never used an IPad before and it’s going to be a lot of fun.  I’m learning a lot about the applications that are on my new IPad.  I’m using one of new applications and is called “My Journal.”  That is very cool and I hope to learn more about this application.  The IPad is going to be useful tool for my time management for my schedule.  I have a feeling it’s going to be cool. I love technology because you get to learn new devices and other fun software. (Stirling)

Being a UVM student

What was your favorite thing you saw or did today?

I really liked taking the bus by myself because it made me feel like a real college student.  I thought that was very cool and it was a lot of fun.  My phone has music on it and I was listening to it as we drove to Burlington.  This was a fun part of my day and and I can’t wait until I do that.

I had lunch on the Redstone campus and I’m doing that with Amanda.  It is a nice campus and it’s very interesting place to hangout.