Resilience as an employment skill

hannah tucker
Hannah and Tucker demonstrate the power of support! Wrapping rubber bands around rolled up tubes of paper strengthens them enough to support the weight of several books.

Resilience and emotional self-regulation are important employment skills, so we begin teaching them from the very first semester in Aggies Elevated.

During the Fall 2017 semester, Aggies Elevated utilized the WhyTry resilience education curriculum in the Orientation to Adult Learning and Independent Living class for first-year students and the Internship Seminar for second-year students.

“Resilience, or the ability to bounce back from challenging situations, is an important employment skill,” said Sue Reeves, Career Success Coordinator at Aggies Elevated. “Staying calm when a co-worker annoys you or when a customer yells at you can be the difference between being successfully employed or losing your job. This curriculum helps students to identify strategies they can use in a pressure situation so they can remain in control and be successful.”

Through a series of 10 visual analogies, video clips and activities, students learn how to use their strengths and supports to overcome the challenges in their lives. At the end of the semester, first-year students created a presentation to explain one of the analogies by choosing their own video clip and explaining how it related to a situation in their lives. The second-year students chose from several options to create a final project in which they identified an emotional self-regulation skill that they want to improve, researched it, and produced a creative project around the skill.


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.

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