Matthew Speaks on his PTI Experience

Matthew giving his speech at Trivia Night


Good evening, my name is Matthew McCord, I am a participant at Pathways to Independence.  My parents are here tonight.  I want to thank them for all of their support.

Pathways has made a big impact on my life.  Growing up, I felt different from my classmates and siblings.  Although I have a very supportive family, I felt nervous around new and big groups of people.

My mom found Pathways to Independence three years ago and I decided to give it a try.  At Pathways events, I sometimes feel like I’m in a different world.  I feel supported and I feel understood.  It felt great to be accepted by a new group and have everyone introduce themselves to me at my first event.

Through Pathways, my ability to talk with others has greatly improved.  I’ve learned how to ask people questions and get to know them better.  The Pathways staff helps me feel more comfortable at the events and encourages me to talk with people I might have things in common with.

I’ve also been able to share my interests with others.  Twice, Pathways participants and staff have come to hear me sing with the Meremac Concert Choir.  It felt great to have people there to cheer me on.  On March 5, the choir is going to perform at Webster University before we perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

In the future, I want to live on my own in my own apartment, have a relationship and continue to share my interests with others.  Pathways has given me to tools to achieve my goals.  Thank you all for supporting Pathways to Independence tonight.


Matthew (left) volunteers at Trivia Night