Light blue banner with a photo on the right with graduation caps in the background and the shape of the State of Georgia on top. The words "Around the State" are in the corner.

Congratulations, Graduates!

It’s graduation season! Across the state, young people graduated from high school and college throughout Georgia earlier this spring and last fall. Making a Difference magazine wanted to celebrate this milestone of the graduates across the nine inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE) programs in Georgia. Meet our grads as they share their favorite class or experience and their one piece of advice for incoming students or those considering attending an inclusive post-secondary education program.

GEORGIA’S INCLUSIVE COLLEGE PROGRAMS
offer students with intellectual and developmental disabilities a variety of opportunities for growth as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives. These students are able to realize their dream of continuing their studies in a university or college setting with their peers.

  • Albany Technical College LEAP (Albany, GA)
  • Columbus State University GOALS (Columbus, GA)
  • East Georgia State College CHOICE (Swainsboro, GA)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology EXCEL (Atlanta, GA)
  • Georgia Southern EAGLE Academy (Statesboro, GA)
  • Georgia State University IDEAL (Atlanta, GA) •
  • Kennesaw State University Academy for Inclusive Learning & Social Growth (Kennesaw, GA)
  • University of Georgia Destination Dawgs (Athens, GA)
  • University of West Georgia Project WOLVES (Carrollton, GA)Read more about IPSE programs in Georgia. Abby Amatriain

Abby Amatriain
University of Georgia
My favorite part about college was working out and staying fit. My favorite part of going to class was working with people. My advice: Work hard so you are prepared to find a good job.

 

 

Taylor Baker
Columbus State University
My favorite class was Narrative Illustration because it helped me to both improve my artistic skills and get back in touch with my inner child. My advice: Failure is just the first step.

 

 

Isaiah Branford
Georgia State University
My favorite part of college was making a lot of new friends. My favorite class was Hip Hop and Politics because we got to talk about a lot of interesting stuff and learned about certain political issues. My advice: You will really enjoy the IDEAL program and it could make your dreams come true!

 

Martavious Carroll
East Georgia State College
My favorite part of college was having the opportunity to attend as well as meet new people. My favorite class was Public Speaking because I developed skills so that I could talk in front of crowds. My advice: Work hard and stay positive. Never get down on yourself. You can do anything that you put your mind to.

 

Tyler Crawford
Kennesaw State University
My favorite part of college was living on my own, being independent and making new friends. My favorite class was Culinary because I learned good cooking skills. My advice: Be all you can be and take pride in whatever you do.

 

 

Johnique Davis
East Georgia State College
My favorite part of college was experiencing living on my own for the first time. My favorite class was Public Speaking because it helped me break out of my shell. My advice: Never be afraid to ask for help. The professors are willing to help.

 

Nierra Dyer
Georgia State University
IDEAL at GSU was my favorite part of going to college. I enjoyed helping out with birthday cards and at my internship. My favorite class was Painting because it was so pretty and colorful and I learned about different colors. Laura Funk Kennesaw State University My favorite part of college was living independently My favorite class was Theater because I love to act. My advice: Be kind to others.

Amara Hazzard
Georgia Tech
My favorite part of college was gaining independence, learning transportation, budgeting and meal prep. My favorite class was Abnormal Psychology because it talks about different mental illnesses. My advice: Make friends, then focus on getting a job. Have your own bank account and someone you trust to help.

 

Jackson Hurst
Kennesaw State University
My favorite part of college was being able to actively go to college and take regular classes with other students. My favorite class was Earth from Above, which introduced me to the world of virtual mapping. My advice: Don’t let your limitations hold you back.

 

Lexi Johnston
Columbus State University
My favorite part of college was meeting new people. My favorite class was Art History because I like looking at different pieces of art. My advice: Find at least one person in each class and get their number so that if you miss one class you can get their notes.

 

Ikenna Kamalu
Georgia Tech
My favorite part of college was making new friends; singing the National Anthem for GT football; and going on trips with Campus Christian Fellows. My favorite class was Stars, Galaxy and Universe, but I also liked American History. My advice: Get to know as many people as you can; making friends makes a big difference.

 

Kaelen Knowles
Kennesaw State University
My favorite part of college was meeting people from around the world and learning different languages. My favorite class was Japanese 1001 because I really enjoyed the way my professor taught the basics of hiragana. My advice: Take your time and relax, don’t act on your emotions and ask for help when it’s needed.

 

Michael Kurland
Georgia Tech
My favorite part of college was joining clubs on campus like Drama Tech because I got to hang out with friends. My favorite class was Theater Production because I got to set up and tear down the stage, stairs and lighting. My advice: Be open minded because you might enjoy things and people that you thought you wouldn’t like.

 

Malerie Moulder
University of Georgia
My favorite part of college was getting to live in Athens for my last year. My favorite class was Event Planning because this is one of my passions and something I love to do. My advice: Enjoy every minute and study the bus routes.

 

Nadia Osbey
Georgia State University
My favorite part of college was that I already had friends at GSU. My favorite class was Acting because I figured out I have a lot of talents that I did not know I had. My advice: Focus on yourself and your work! Always make sure your work is turned in on time.

 

Spencer Patterson
Kennesaw State University
My favorite part of college was making new friends and living on my own. My favorite class was Welding because I got to learn how to make several different weld joints. My advice: Only bring what you need, don’t clutter the dorm room with electronics and talk to someone new every day.

 

Jessica Rosen
Georgia Tech
My favorite part of college was making and keeping new friends, going to football games and Six Flags. My favorite class was PEERS Curriculum, which taught me a lot of social skills and rules to put into practice. My advice: Be yourself, figure out campus and have fun. You will make lifelong friends, just like me.

 

Gwenique Rountree
East Georgia State College
My favorite part of college was being around different people and growing into a better person. My favorite class was Public Speaking because it gave me the opportunity to express myself. My advice: Stay focused and organized.

 

Natalie Shaw
Kennesaw State University
My favorite part of college was being independent. My favorite class was Advanced Leadership and Career Development because it helped me get ready for the real world. My advice: Don’t be afraid; there’s a lot of support.

 

Drew Schulman
Georgia Tech
My favorite part of college was making friends and getting to hang out with them. My favorite class was Earth Processes because it taught me more than I have ever been taught or thought I could learn about planet Earth. My advice: Do your best with time management, keep a calendar and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

 

Antonio Smith
East Georgia State College
My favorite part of college was obtaining a college education. My favorite class was Criminal Justice because we got to do a lot of debates and fun activities. My advice: Always be on time.

 

 

Daniel Travis
Georgia Tech
My favorite part of college was meeting new people and making friends on my mentor team because we will be friends forever. My favorite class was Weapons of Mass Destruction because it was a new experience and it was unique and cool. My advice: Always be prepared for change – it forces you to be flexible.