By: Kelie Kyser, Communications Director
Andrew Trudeau is a 23-year-old Virginia native who made the trek to Colorado in 2004 with his mother and hasn’t looked back. To Andrew, Colorado just feels like home. He enjoys the community, beautiful landscape, and vast opportunities for people with disabilities.
Andrew attended Overland High School in Aurora and reports having an excellent experience. He concedes that freshman and sophomore year were a little tricky at first, but with the help of his case manager and support at home, his junior and senior years were much easier. The experience prepared him to advance his education and graduate from Pickens Technical College.
A man with big dreams and charisma to match, Andrew explained that his ultimate goal in life is to be his own boss. This self-proclaimed “tech guy” is currently exploring employment opportunities at Best Buy where he hopes to become an official member of the “Geek Squad”. Andrew enjoys diagnosing technical problems with computers and plans to use his experience at the retail conglomerate as foundation for his entrepreneurial vision. His short-term goal is to work for an organization like Google or Apple; the long-term plan is to start his own tech company – watch out Mark Zuckerberg.
With regard to the future of technology, Andrew explained that consumers with and without disabilities will continue to benefit from voice assisted programs – hands free technology you can use everywhere. He’s fascinated with artificial intelligence and dreams of a day when devices like iPhone and Android are able to anticipate the owner’s habits and accommodate them accordingly. Andrew’s sights are set on creating “teachable” technology.
When he’s not busy planning for the future, Andrew enjoys attending programs like Fun Fridays at The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties and competing in Special Olympics state games. He’s also tapping into his acting skills by creating educational videos for and by individuals with disabilities with an organization called Life Smartz.
Andrew enjoys The Arc because it is a safe place to learn and have fun. He explained that it’s excellent for people who have just moved to Colorado because of the capacity to network and meet other people with similar interests. Andrew says that he and his peers are overwhelmed by the obstacles they face trying to live independently. With rent in Colorado at an all-time high, it’s next to impossible for a young person just starting out to find a decent place to live. And even if that mission is accomplished, finding reliable transportation may be difficult. For the time being, Andrew relies on the expertise of his mother (a former mortgage banker) to help him master the art of budgeting and establishing credit so that he can someday get his own place.
When asked about dating, Andrew declared that he is waiting to get a job first and then he will look for a girlfriend. He says that having a job will provide him with the financial stability he needs to take some lucky young lady on dates to the movies, golfing, or swimming. Much like everything else in his life, he has a strategic plan for dating as well.
Andrew’s confidence and zest for life will surely take him wherever he desires to go.