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Class of 2018 Student Profiles: Patrick Cichoracki, Overcoming the Odds!

High School Graduation is a major milestone in one’s life—a stepping stone and catalyst for the next phase of life. However, sometimes it’s taken for granted … but not for Patrick Cichoracki.


Tonight, Patrick, an Exceptional Education Academy student, will be among Penn’s 869 member Class of 2018 graduating at tonight’s Commencement (May 25, 2018) at the University of Notre Dame. Patrick will graduate with a Core 40 diploma. This is quite an accomplishment for Patrick, his family and his Penn High School family and friends! Patrick was diagnosed with Autism when he was two-years-old—doctors telling his parents he’d never speak and recommended they put him in respite care.


But Patrick and his parents never gave up … Patrick enrolled in PreK at Elsie Rogers Elementary School and began using an adult speaking device—which he mastered in just two days! He eventually started speaking at the age of seven. Patrick has always loved technology, taking apart the family's VCRs and putting them back together again. By elementary school, Patrick quickly learned keyboarding and developed his fine motor skills by doing all of his “writing” homework on a computer. At Schmucker Middle School and later at Penn, he took computer classes. Tonight he’s 18 and graduating on time with the rest of his classmates his age with a Core 40 Diploma! He loves coding and will enroll in Ivy Tech Community College next fall and plans to major in Technology.


Patrick is inspiration to us all, watch the video below to see how he brightens the hallways of Penn High School every day …



Click to watch the other Class of 2018 Excellence Happens Here student profiles on Penn-Harris-Madison’s YouTube channel.