Nickolas Davison is increasing his independence every day at CHI

His optimistic life motto – never give up and always try your best – paints a clear picture of 19-year-old Center for Higher Independence (CHI) student Nickolas Davison and his dreams of becoming a world-renowned celebrity despite his obstacles of epilepsy and asthma.

“Seizures are very scary for everyone – my friends would always ask me why I’d shake all the time,” he explained about the unpredictable seizures that made his life challenging and kept him indoors much of his childhood.

Over the years, medication helped him control the seizures and has enabled him to find himself as a person. Becoming more involved in his school and community, Nick discovered natural talents for singing and dancing in middle school, as well as a genuine enjoyment of people through Kamp Kaleidoscope, his epilepsy camp. 

Knowing he needed help becoming more independent after graduation, Nick and his Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) counselor looked at various options together. Intrigued by the idea of the Center for Higher Independence (CHI) at Providence Place, he came for a visit.

“I could see right away how CHI would really help me develop my life and job skills,” Nick said. “When I went into the dorms and classrooms, students were working on their own, living on their own, cooking on their own, and doing their own laundry with someone there only to guide them if they needed help.”

Since his start in August 2013, Nick has learned invaluable skills – money management and work skills through the Work Training Center – that he’s certain will set him on the path to success. He is looking forward to his upcoming training on riding the bus, interview skills and job-application techniques.

At Providence Place, he’s very involved in the Signs of the Times Hearing Choir where he is incorporating his newly acquired American Sign Language skills, and has already become a mini-celebrity on campus, with a singing ability and original dance moves that fascinate others.

Nick is thrilled by the progress he has made. When asked about his dreams of becoming a celebrity, his response is thoughtful and moving.

“I want to become a celebrity so I can share my story and inspire people around the world never to give up and always try their best,” he said simply. “There should be no excuse to give up on your dreams and I’m living proof.”

He already has a list of nonprofits he plans to support when he makes it big – the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas, the American Asthma Foundation and the Center for Higher Independence at Providence Place.

“CHI has already helped me learn so many independent living skills, so whatever I decide to do next, whether it’s college or the National Guard, I know great things are coming my way,” he smiled.

For more infomation on the Center for Higher Independence and for more stories like Nick's visit