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Alumni Spotlight: Bobby Plourde

We recently caught up with Groves Academy Alumnus Bobby Plourde.

“Groves prepared me by making sure that I understood how to cope with my disability and what I needed to do to overcome it. I was also given experiences that I would otherwise not have if I were to have gone to a different school. I was able to play on the basketball team, have smaller class sizes, and create relationships that I will have my entire life.”

How long were you at Groves Academy and what were a few key things you learned?

I started at Groves in seventh grade and was there until I graduated high school. I would say that the most important thing that Groves taught me is how to learn. It means different things for different people, and it is vital to know how you learn to be successful in life. It has helped me the most at my internships. At them, I was expected to learn a lot of information on my own, and know how I learned really helped me get up to speed and be successful.

What did you do after Groves?

After Groves, I started at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. I started out as a special education major. I realized that that was not for me, and I am now an information systems major with an emphasis in web and mobile development and a minor in data analytics. I have an internship with Oshkosh Corporation as an Advanced Analytics intern. I hope to get a job there once I graduate.

How did your time at Groves prepare you for your next steps?

Groves prepared me by making sure that I understood how to cope with my disability and what I needed to do to overcome it. I was also given experiences that I would otherwise not have if I were to have gone to a different school. I was able to play on the basketball team, have smaller class sizes, and create relationships that I will have my entire life.

What are some of your favorite memories of Groves?

One of my favorite memories at Groves was in seventh grade (my first year at Groves).  We went on an after-school activity (ASA) to the apple orchard, where I met many new people who would end up becoming terrific friends. I remember going through the corn maze and going out to eat after. Before Groves, I didn’t have many experiences like that, and it is something that I will cherish forever.

Why do you think Groves is an important asset to the Twin Cities community?

Groves is the only school in the Twin Cities that exclusively caters to kids with learning disabilities. They make it so that kids feel welcome and included no matter what. Groves teachers teach in a way that each student can learn and they spend the one-on-one time that kids need.

What would you tell a student new to Groves about the school?

IT’S GREAT! I was very scared when my mom told me that I was going to look at a new school. When I first visited Groves and walked into Ms. Bowers’ classroom, everyone was so nice and welcoming! After that day, I knew that I wanted to go to Groves, and it was a game-changer for me.

Anything else you would like to share with the Groves community?

Groves has helped me in many different ways. Without Groves, I would not be the person I am today, and I want to thank all the teachers and administration staff who made the experience what it was!

 

This interview originally appeared in the 2021 Winter edition of “Connections.”


Are you a Groves Alum? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know how you’re doing!
Please contact Ashley Gotreau at 952.915.4258 or gotreaua@grovesacademy.org.
Don’t forget to join the Groves Academy Alumni Association on Facebook!


 

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