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Aggies Elevated Receives USU Diversity Grant

Sue Reeves


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Students sitting on grass
Aggies Elevated students at a recent orientation event.

Aggies Elevated, a new inclusive post-secondary education opportunity for young adults with intellectual disabilities, has received a three-year, $15,000 grant from the Utah State University Diversity Council. The program is located within the Center for Persons with Disabilities and will launch with eight students in the fall.

“I have to give credit to Alma Burgess, who informed me there was a grant available on campus from the Diversity Council,” said Shane Johnson, associate director of development for the CPD. “I thought it was a perfect fit.”

Johnson submitted the grant proposal in March and was notified in April that the grant had been awarded.

According to the USU Diversity Council’s web site, the council’s mission is to increase diversity among University faculty, administration and students, take intentional steps to improve the campus climate for underrepresented individuals and to support ongoing diversity and inclusion-related efforts that exist within the University and Cache Valley communities.

The purpose of the grant program is to support initiatives across the university system which align with the missions and goals of the University as well as those of the Diversity Council. The funds are designed to support both one-time programming and events, as well as long–term, one–to three–year projects that support the University’s mission, goals, and objectives related to diversity and inclusion.

Aggies Elevated is a two-year certificate program. Students will live on campus and attend classes with their neurotypical peers. The emphasis of the program is to build independent living skills and career exploration through internships so that the participants can live as independently as possible and engage in meaningful employment that they enjoy.

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