Brinley Caldwell is working on a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at Utah State University. She wanted to volunteer with Aggies Elevated students, teaching them about healthy lifestyles and activities, and was able to turn that volunteer commitment into class credit.
“I’m over the moon over it,” she said about her involvement with Aggies Elevated. “It’s really rad that this program is going on. I wanted to be a part of it.”
Last summer, she worked with the Youth Adventure Leadership Program (YALP) at Common Ground Outdoor Adventures, a Logan company that offers outdoor recreation opportunities for people of all abilities.
“YALP was a good combination of Aggies Elevated and Common Ground,” Caldwell said. “The idea is to expose them to as many opportunities as you can, and help them find that spark.”
Caldwell has met with the Aggies Elevated students weekly since the spring semester began in January. Programming includes guest speakers and activities revolving around healthy lifestyles. The activities often are a follow-up to the previous week’s presentation. Caldwell has also encouraged the students to explore volunteer opportunities.
She also emphasizes communication skills, because many students struggle with asking for help.
“It’s been really rewarding to see that my efforts are being rewarded when they feel comfortable enough to ask questions,” Caldwell said.
She will graduate in May 2016.
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.