Pasco Boy Meeting Life's Challenges and Heading to College

On Saturday Chiawana senior Garrett Ossman found out he would be joining his peers in that quest for college he was accepted into the Spokane Community College.

Garrett, who has down's syndrome, maintained a 4.0 grade point average all through high school while splitting time between special ed classes and general ed classes.

Five years ago he told his parents he wanted to go to college.

Garrett's father Jeff said once Garrett's mind was made up there was no looking back.

Jeff said sending a kid off to college is nerve-racking but hes confident Garret has what it takes to strive.

"He has a tremendous amount of ability and common sense, maybe he's not reading at the highest level but with the details of every day life and common sense and problem solving he's got that dialed in he is so ready for this college thing, " said Jeff.

He said him and his wife Melanie are working out the details of where Garrett will live but he is excited for his son to get the college experience.

"I want him to have as much of the college experience as we can line up," said Jeff.

Garrett will be in the PACE program at Spokane Community College, which is specifically tailored for people with special abilities.

The program is a combination of basic education, employable skills, and teaches the students how to live on their own.

"It teaches them how to balance checkbooks and how to pay your bills and how to budget. They can take child care classes, they can take an automotive class where they learn how to change their own oil," siad Melanie.

Garrett has an impressive list of extracurriculars.

He  raises sheep and shows them at local fairs to save money for college and he's an avid dune buggy driver.    

Jeff said what amazes him about Garrett is his drive and best day attitude.

"Garett's he's just never down he doesn't have bad days like the rest of us do and if he does he easily just takes on the next and smiles. He has best day ever all the time I've told him all his life will you teach me how to do that," siad Jeff.

Jeff said he's not worried about what degree Garrett walks away from college with, he's excited for the experience this affords his son.  

"Just to gain his own independence, his mother and I aren't going to be around for ever I want to know he can take care of himself," said Jeff.

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