By Shelby Foster
After hearing about Aggies Elevated, I was stoked that a program like this was coming to Utah State. USU is already an incredible University and Aggies Elevated has just added to its already pure awesomeness. I immediately knew this program was going to be life-changing for everyone involved and I wanted to be a part of it.
College is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had; it’s exciting, intimidating, challenging, and fun all at the same time. When I think about my last three years as an Aggie, I want nothing more than to help others have just as great of an experience. College is, of course, about deciding a major, walking up Old Main in zero degree weather to get to class, and studying until the wee hours of the night, but it’s also so much more than that. College is about learning how to get along with a bunch of people who come from completely different backgrounds, figuring how to do laundry without Mom there to remind you, and choosing who you want to become.
I’m not the perfect student. There’s still so much I don’t know for myself, but I’ve gone through homesickness, fighting the freshman 15, and endured the dating scene. I want to pass down my knowledge and experience to incoming Aggies. I want to be a friend and support they can rely on as they adjust to the biggest change they’ve had in their lives thus far. I hope through working as an Aggies Elevated mentor I can help my mentees uncover their passion and find that one thing, or several things, that drive them to be a better person. I hope I can be an advocate for these students and show our society that people with disabilities have more in common with us than differences, and just like any other freshman they are here to work hard and have fun as they experience life as an Aggie!
Shelby Foster is a peer mentor in the Aggies Elevated program.
Aggies Elevated at Utah State University believes that all individuals, regardless of ability, have the right to meaningful employment, lifelong learning, self-determination and full community inclusion. Utilizing the MyCLIMB (My Career Ladder to Independence, Maturity & Balance) person-centered planning model, Aggies Elevated students, along with invited family members and/or other stakeholders, will chart their own paths toward independence within an individualized framework of supports that identifies challenges, builds on individual strengths and encourages personal responsibility.