Meet the Graduating Students!
In May 2020, Colorado will celebrate the first students with intellectual/developmental disabilities to graduate from schools offering inclusive higher education pathways. Mia, Nick, and Ashley were in the first cohort of students receiving supports from the Office of Inclusive Services at University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS), established under Senate Bill 196 in 2016. Jazmine, Kacie, and Aditya will be the first cohort of students receiving services from Elevate at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) to graduate from ACC.
Ashley, studies Advocacy and Human Services at UCCS
Ashley’s commitment to making sure that people with disabilities have a strong voice in their life has led her to working an internship focused on the work of self advocates at The Arc in Colorado Springs. Ashley has worked to develop her own public speaking skills through many communications classes at UCCS. While Ashley’s career commitment will keep her working at The Arc, her outside interests in fashion and the theater give her a full life with many outside activities.
Nick, studies Photojournalism at UCCS
Nick’s commitment to inclusion and desire to go to college led him to be among the first students with Down syndrome to attend UCCS. Nick began taking classes at UCCS before inclusive services were established at UCCS. His dynamic personality and commitment to learning allowed Nick to create great relationships with professors and his fellow students, which paved the way for the creation of the Office of Inclusive Services at UCCS. In addition to being a full-time college student, Nick has two jobs. His job at a local car wash allows him to dive into his love of cars and machines and his work at PEAK Parent Center gives him the opportunity to support those engaged in disability advocacy and inclusion.
Mia, studies American Sign Language and Education at UCCS
Mia has gone from avid coffee drinker at UCCS to barista! Mia is committed to making sure she takes advantage of all the opportunities college has to offer. Mia works two jobs on campus; one as a barista and another working for the Human Services office. Mia’s commitment to a career in sign language and education has led her to hold two different internships teaching young children to learn ASL. Mia has mastered all that it takes to live on campus! You will often find Mia taking Hip Hop classes at the Wellness Center or hanging out with friends and her boyfriend.
Jazmine, studies Nursing Assistance at ACC
Jazmine's dedication to caring for others has fueled her passion for the nursing field. She currently holds an internship with Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. During her time at ACC, Jazmine joined the National Honors Society of Leadership and Success, furthering her leadership abilities. In her free time Jazmine can be found spending time with her family, friends, and boyfriend, going to movies and out to dinner. She also loves walking and caring for her dog, Sugar. Jazmine will graduate from Arapahoe Community College with a Nurse Aide Certificate and Comprehensive Higher Education Certificate.
Kacie, studies Communication at ACC
Kacie's love of reading and learning drove her to enroll in college. At ACC, Kacie helped start the Elevate Club, dedicated to raising awareness of what it is like to be a student with a disability in college. She interned with a local coffee shop and now works in the college library. She has a special place in her heart for shelter animals. Upon graduating in May, she hopes to transfer to a university to obtain her Bachelor's degree. Kacie hopes to work as a librarian and inspire children to love learning.
Aditya, studies Business at ACC
Aditya's interests have changed over his time at ACC. Originally interested in dietetics, he discovered a true passion for business. Some of his favorite classes he has taken include: Public Speaking, Introduction to Business, Marketing, and Business Communication. Last year Aditya served as a senator on student government. He's a big sports fan and loves the Broncos. In his free time, Aditya enjoys going on dates with his fiance. Aditya will complete his Comprehensive Higher Education Certificate in the spring and hopes to continue onto his Associate's degree.
Join us as we check in with the graduating students over the course of their senior year
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Note: IN! does not provide any direct support to students. We are a non-profit that advocates for the establishment of inclusive supports on college campuses. Supports are provided by each university's staff and students graduate from their respective institute of higher education.