The Story of the Stone
by Michael McManmon, CIP Founder, Author, and speaker
Dr. Michael McManmon is the Founder of the College Internship Program (CIP). The following story illustrates how he developed the simple idea of using a stone as a reminder to himself and others to help cope with their emotions and "think positive." The stones he has collected and given to others have had a positive effect on the CIP students and others around the world.
In 2006, I was walking down the street in Berkeley California, frustrated and somewhat down. Trying to start a center, find a building, negotiate a lease, interview staff, order phone service and the myriad of other tasks was over-whelming me.
I was getting really down and saying negative things to myself and finally I said to myself “Michael, you need to Think Positive”. At that same moment my eyes turned toward, the window still of a store and perched on it was a stone that had written on it “Think Positive”.
I picked up the stone and felt a little guilty taking it, but put it in my pocket. I felt the stone every time I put my hand in my pocket and at night put it on the bed stand in the hotel. The stone got me through a rough time by myself struggling to accomplish my complicated work and was a physical presence and reminder to keep my focus positive.
I found a source of similar stones near the bay and got a marker and made several stones. I placed a stone at the same spot that I picked up the first stone and left them many other places (including bathrooms, on tables at restaurants, etc.).
I now “re-purpose” many of these rocks, bringing “Think Positive Stones” to many conferences and speaking engagements all over the U.S. and internationally. Most people just enjoy keeping them on their desk, in their purse or in their pocket.
Over the years I have had people tell me wonderful stories regarding the effect of having the stones. One person from Switzerland said her brother’s wife had cancer and that her brother had asked her the day before getting the stone to “think positive thoughts” for him and his wife. They both got stones.
As someone who is diagnosed with a "Learning Difference" myself, I realize now that I've spent the majority of my life learning how to better understand and teach myself strategies to cope with my social and emotional differences.
By going through this process of self-understanding, I've built important relationships both personally and professionally, written a book, "Made for Good Purpose", which serves as a guide for parents, professionals and those diagnosed themselves, as well as speak and train others all over the world on important topics relating to the education of those with learning differences.
But my biggest success thus far has been the development of the College Internship Program's six national centers; a comprehensive social, academic, career and life skills program designed help young adults learn the skills necessary for success, realizing and developing their potential.
The philosophy of CIP is that every individual is inherently valuable, thus being made for good purpose.
About Michael P. McManmon, Ed.D. – Dr. McManmon is the founder of the College Internship Program (CIP), which serves college-aged students with learning differences and Asperger’s Syndrome in six centers across the US. CIP’s goal is to prepare young men and women with skills for life, for college, for work, and for independent living.
He is an advisory board member of US Autism & Asperger Association, Asperger Syndrome Training and Employment Partnership (ASTEP), and a member of Autism Society, National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC), Asperger’s Association of New England (AANE) and the Learning Disabilities Association. Dr. McManmon was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at 51 years of age. His personal struggles and ensuing victories and those of his students and staff have inspired this book. He resides in Lee, Massachusetts.
College Internship Program (CIP)
CIP's mission is to graduate young men and women of confidence, character, and integrity capable of making contributions to society and claiming their place as citizens of the world.