Meet the 2018-2019 mentors

Group photo of 2018-2019 mentors.
Front row, left to right: Emmy Moore, Sarah Otteson, Brooke Barnes, and Hanna Evans. Back row, left to right: MyCLIMB Coordinator Savanna Steed, Breanna Anderson, Lindsay Thunell and Spencer Diehl. Not pictured: Anna Berger.

Mentors are the first line of support for Aggies Elevated students, providing 10-12 hours of support per student each week. Mentors are typically upper-level undergraduates or graduate students majoring in a human service field (although, we have had some wonderful exceptions to that!) While they do provide a limited amount of academic support, mentors’ primary role is to help students navigate the complexities of college life. The 2018-2019 Aggies Elevated mentors are:

Breanna Anderson
I am from right here in Logan, Utah, but also like to claim Alaska as home, due to spending many of my summers working there. I am a lover of the outdoors and spend most of my time doing being active. Some of my favorite pastimes include crafting, running, hiking, fishing and recently, hunting. I am a Social Work major with a minor in Sociology and Criminal Justice. I plan to work with adolescent/young adults in a therapeutic setting. I love having opportunities to help others and absolutely love being an Aggies Elevated mentor!

Brooke Barnes
I wanted to be an Aggies Elevated mentor because I am majoring in Special Education, so this would be a great experience before I start teaching. I also love helping people in general and love giving ideas and strategies. I believe I bring lots of things to the table when it comes to being a mentor. I have the past experience of being a peer tutor in high school. I am very organized and like to make sure things are tidy when it comes to keeping track of test/quizzes and other assignments. I am kind, patient, stern, and a friend. While I’m a mentor, I hope I can teach skills that the student will carry with them after they graduate the program. My goal is to get my students to be as independent as possible and want to succeed in their life goals as well as their short-term goals. For me personally, I hope to learn more about how to handle conflicts that may arise.

Anna Berger
I am a senior from Ogden, Utah, majoring in Speech Pathology. I was a tutor for last year at Aggies Elevated. I wanted to be an Aggies Elevated mentor because I love to see students succeed. The best thing about working with my students so far is watching them realize they can accomplish more than they thought. I have enjoyed watching them grow and enjoy their college experience.

Spencer Diehl
I am a senior from Lindon, Utah, majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Human Anatomy. I am planning on applying to dental school in the summer of 2019 with goals to become a pediatric dentist in the future. I was a tutor for the Wednesday night study group for a couple semesters. I wanted to be an Aggies Elevated mentor because I felt like I could contribute to the learning of the Aggies Elevated students through positive and uplifting interactions to help them accomplish their academic and personal goals. The best part about working with the Aggies Elevated students so far are the daily experiences of helping the student overcome a specific challenge they are anxious or stressed about. Helping these students succeed on a daily basis can be mentally challenging and try your patience at times but brings a fulfilled purpose and unique humorous experiences as you work together.

Hanna Evans
I’m a sophomore at Utah State. I’m from Oregon and absolutely love evergreen trees! I’m studying Special Education at USU, play on the Women’s Rugby team and will eat Aggie ice cream at every possible opportunity! I love my friends and family and love the people I work with at Aggies Elevated!

Emmy Moore
I am a sophomore from Kennesaw, Georgia, studying Elementary Education and Special Education. This is my first year with Aggies Elevated and I already absolutely love the opportunity to work daily with incredible students and to learn and grow alongside them and because of them. My passion and love for working with people with disabilities started when I was in elementary school, where I was a peer tutor. These were defining moments in my life, and proved that what I want to be doing most in life is to continue working with such remarkable students. In my spare time I love going on road trips, doing anything artsy, and speaking French, which I learned while serving an LDS mission in the Southern Caribbean.

Sarah Otteson
I am a senior majoring in communicative disorders and deaf education and minoring in psychology and human development & family studies. I’m from Cleveland, Ohio, and my favorite thing about Utah is the mountains and being at USU. I tutored for Aggies Elevated last year and was totally hooked, now I love working closely with my students as a mentor. My favorite thing about Aggies Elevated is seeing the huge amounts of progress the students make and having fun at the activities we plan.

Lindsey Thunell
I’m a native of beautiful Cache Valley, Utah. I’m a senior majoring in Human Movement Science and have been considering a graduate degree in Occupational Therapy or (most recently inspired by Sue) Rehabilitation Counseling. I have always loved working with people with disabilities and jumped at the chance to be a mentor for Aggies Elevated. I love seeing the students achieve their goals and realize their potential. My favorite moments are when my students surprise themselves by doing things they didn’t think they could do! I also enjoy spending time with the students and getting to know them. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis and pickleball, hanging out, and eating pasta.

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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