Looking back on three years

West Shore Connect student learned a lot, grew a lot – and is grateful

Smiling young man with wire frame glasses and crew cut

By Adi Mujkanovic

Knightly News Reporter


I started at CPC in the fall of 2021.

I was excited, but I did not know what to expect with my first year.

Adi takes a moment to smile for a camera, in the West Shore Connect Program suite on campus. Photo by Gabryelle Breski

During my first year as a student, I was immature and caused some issues in the program.

When I signed up for my first class, I met Shari Brenizer.

I thought being in the class was decent. It was also my first time meeting Professor Paul Miller. When I sat down to talk to him, I did not know what to expect, but I learned that he was a good guy.

In this class, I also gave a speech for the first time in front of an audience. I felt nervous and it led to it being the shortest speech I have ever done. One takeaway from the class is that you have to have confidence and not say the filler words.

Entering my second year of CPC, I did not know what to expect, with more students starting in the program. I felt like I had to be a leader for the new students and show them the campus. I was thrilled to be a leader, but it came with a lot of responsibilities. During this year, I learned how to take more control of myself in a situation. I also learned how to stay focused in a larger group. Knowing that it was a tough year, I made it through.

Year three was one to remember, knowing it was my third, and final, year. I noticed how I became more mature and that I was becoming the man I knew I could be. I became more successful and a God-loving person. One of my favorite memories was going down on FNB Field on City Island, in Harrisburg, and being up in the press box, as a member of The Knightly News Media Club, which livestreams and whose reporters write about home baseball and basketball games. I loved announcing the batters and creating the tunnel for the baseball team.

Knowing that I did so much in The Knightly News Media Club, including podcasts and writing stories, gives a sense of accomplishment. I appreciate the podcasts I have been on, and I hope that the stories I have written are leaving a lasting impression, such as the West Shore Connect stories to sharing my story about mental health.

There are many members of The Knightly News who have made my experience better.

I would like to thank club co-adviser and Knightly News blog editor Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi and co-adviser and sports-coverage coordinator Professor Miller, and club members Blake Myers, Nik Hogan, Dylan Bowman, Dalton Koller and Kevon Davis.

I am thankful for and happy to be where I’m at today. I wasn’t able to go to class alone three years ago, but this term, I have attended my class alone. I accomplished a lot. There were some ups and downs, but knowing that I made it through another year of growth allows me to accomplish many more things in the near future. For example, I will be working this summer through the Carlisle Parks and Recreation Department. I will be renewing the nature of the park.

Mujkanovic helping during a cleanup of Boyer Run, the stream that runs through campus. Photo by Gabryelle Breski

I am proud to say I have completed 11 classes on campus. Some I found to be more difficult than others, but you have to have time-management skills. This includes using your time wisely and being aware of your schedule.

I have enjoyed getting to meet many current and new students. I have also enjoyed meeting many faculty and staff members at Central Penn, with many laughs along the way.

I would like to thank the occupational therapist assistant group for teaching us all the skills that I need for helping me cope and getting me ready for the world. In addition to OTA, I would like to thank every mentor who has helped the program and every group that participated in the Connection Twosdays.

Last, I want to give a big thank you to instructor Mrs. Brenizer and paraeducator Mrs. Shannon Hockenberry for giving me and the rest of us in the West Shore Connect Program the opportunity to experience college. Thank you, also, to transition coordinator Mrs. Jennifer Hoff for getting us started and instructional adviser April Smith.

Good luck to all future students. I hope you have as much fun and learning as I did!

Mujkanovic served during part of his time with The Knightly News Media Club @ Central Penn College as chair of the fundraising subcommittee.

West Shore Connect is a West Shore School District program through which students with disabilities attend Central Penn. The effort’s goal is to promote independence among the students in everyday activities, and to provide the students with opportunities to network and to establish relationships.

Comment or story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.

Edited by media-club co-adviser and blog editor Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi.