By Lindsey Lombard
In the fall of 2014, I started my senior capstone project. I needed to pick an organization that was important to me and volunteer. I knew immediately that I wanted to work with the CPD. It was there that I heard about the Aggies Elevated program. I began holding study groups and planning social activities. As I planned activities, I thought a lot about my college experience and wanted all the students to have the same great memories that I did. We did bonfires up the canyon, participated in the Homecoming activities, and cheered on the Aggies in the Spectrum.
This semester I have the opportunity to be a mentor for two Aggies Elevated students. I feel very passionate about the Aggies Elevated program. In 2012, my younger brother was involved in an accident where he received a Traumatic Brain Injury. As he began going back to school and learning the skills he needed to be independent, I realized how much of a need there is for programs like Aggies Elevated. I always wished that there was someone other than our family who wanted to help him achieve his goals. As soon as I heard about Aggies Elevated, I knew wanted to be a part of it. I love setting goals with the students and watching them achieve each one. Sometimes the students don’t even realize the things that they are accomplishing all on their own. I know that this program is set up to help students who have a disability reach their full potential. I am so eager to see what the future holds the Aggies Elevated students.
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.