The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Mexico fans react after Mexico F Julián Quiñones 73rd-minute goal during the MexTour match between Mexico and Brazil at Kyle Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
‘The stuff of dreams’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 11, 2024

As soon as the Mexico-Brazil soccer match at Kyle Field was announced, Jacob Svetz and Caitlin Falke saw an opportunity.  The match was scheduled...

The Fighting Texas Aggie Band performs at halftime during Texas A&Ms football game against ULM at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.
Gridiron glory to multi-event marvel
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • June 7, 2024

Special teams: Special events  “My favorite thing about an event is seeing the people come into the stadium and seeing their excitement...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin Chen June 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Gaining independence and friendship through ACHIEVE

Photo by Photo by Angelina Alcantar

Aggie ACHIEVEMates are partnered with students of Aggie ACHIEVE to be a friend and support system.

The Aggie ACHIEVE program has seen its students go through their first semester with positive results.
The Academic Courses in Higher Inclusive Education and Vocational Experiences (ACHIEVE) started last fall, giving five students with intellectual, developmental disabilities the opportunity to experience what college is like. The students live on campus, take courses and are given an internship on campus.
Carly Gilson, faculty director of Aggie ACHIEVE, said the students in their first semester were able to adjust to the college lifestyle smoothly.
“[They] learned their way around campus, be among friends through the Aggie ACHIEVEMates organization,” Gilson said. “Our students have really adjusted well.”
Students this spring semester are starting their internships, which was something not done in their fall semester, Gilson said. The on-campus internships work to give each student opportunity to intern for the MSC, Kyle Field and Chartwells.
“It will be a component of the program every semester from here after, so they’ll have on campus internships,” Gilson said. “We just [have] students all over campus just getting those employment skills.”
Special education sophomore Anna Fedewa is the president for Aggie ACHIEVEMates. The organization works with Aggie ACHIEVE to provide each student with 12-15 ACHIEVEMates, which becomes the student’s “circle.” The circle works to be a support system for the Aggie ACHIEVE students as well as be a friend to them.
“All of our ACHIEVE students have paired ACHIEVEMates that fill specific roles for them,” Fedewa said. “They’re just getting flexible, fluid and comprehensive support from all of their ACHIEVEMates.”
While students have support from their Aggie ACHIEVEMates, Gilson said she’s seen each student’s personal growth through learning how to do things on their own. Thomas Carrizal, a student in the Aggie ACHIEVE program, said he likes living in White Creek Apartments as it has made him more independent.
“[I’m] able to do my own chores, like dishes [and] laundry … and cleaning my room in the apartment as well,” Carrizal said.
Fedewa said she has seen how the students and ACHIEVEMates have been able to form a genuine friendship in just one semester.
“ACHIEVEMates really know what these students are going through, they can relate to them as college students,” Fedewa said. “They really get to walk alongside them when things are hard or when things are good. … They’ve really integrated them into their lives.”
Fedewa said the organization is always looking for new members to join at the start of every semester. Gilson said the Aggie ACHIEVE is going to add more students next fall.
“We actually just closed our applications and are in the process now of making some admission decisions for next fall,” Gilson said. “We expect to have eight students in next year’s cohort.”
Carrizal said the program has helped him learn more about his disabilities, and he enjoys spending time with his Aggie ACHIEVEMates.
“It really has helped me a lot to really get out of my comfort zone,” Carrizal said.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *