“I was always in special ed, but they weren’t really helping me with achieving success.” In high school, he says, the program he was in “did pretty much the same thing every year.” As a result, he says: “I was extremely unmotivated.” Today that “unmotivated” student is a computer support technician for PayNet Inc., in Skokie, Ill. “We support the entire company’s infrastructure servers, computers, laptops and software,” he says. “If a computer breaks, I’m the first person to call.”
It wasn’t until his junior year of high school that Diamond was diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder. For his senior year, his parents enrolled him in a high school designed for students with learning disabilities. When he arrived at Beacon College in 2007, Diamond was ready to learn. He knew he was good at computers; he just wasn’t sure what kind of job he wanted. Beacon’s curriculum and approach were perfect for Diamond. “Beacon helped me because of the small class sizes and the correct pace,” he says. “I didn’t feel stressed out or overwhelmed like I would have at a regular college.” Diamond thrived in Beacon’s close-knit community.