Aggies Elevated, an inclusive college experience for young adults with intellectual disabilities, based at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities, was recently named the recipient of a $100,000 grant from the Salt Lake City-based Sorenson Legacy Foundation.
“Becoming sustainable is a challenge we face daily with Aggies Elevated,” said Sarah Bodily, program director for Aggies Elevated. “We want to be here to support students for many years to come, and funding such as this grant from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation will allow us to continue. We are beyond grateful for the money from this foundation. It will allow us to provide daily supports for our Aggies Elevated students.”
The Sorenson Legacy Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation established by James LeVoy Sorenson and his wife Beverley for the purpose of promoting charitable, artistic, religious, educational, literary and scientific endeavors. The foundation’s board meets quarterly to consider grant applications. Grant applications are judged on several criteria, including:
–Assist the disenfranchised of society, such as but not limited to, abused spouses and children, in order that they receive the full benefits of membership in society and fulfill their potential as human beings; and
–Advance the programs at private and state universities and colleges that are consistent with the foundation’s charter.
“Through this grant the Sorenson Legacy Foundation is having a direct and profound impact on the lives of our students,” said Shane Johnson, CPD associate director of development, who submitted the grant proposal. “This funding is vital to helping us sustain the Aggies Elevated program and helps ensure that another class of students will get to have the same life-changing experience that our first Aggies Elevated class is having now. We are very grateful to the Sorenson Legacy Foundation board members for supporting this program and we are excited to demonstrate to them how big an impact this grant will have on the lives of our 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.