Current UP Students
Jim is a first-year UP student from Elkin, NC. Jim enjoys working with computers and hopes to work as a computer programmer after graduation. He is currently selling antiques for an older gentleman on eBay. In his free time, Jim likes to play video games, listen to music (hard rock, hip hop, some rap), and spend time with friends and family. He enjoys outdoor activities including basketball, football, shooting club, and does Civil War reenactments.
Lizzie is a first-year UP student from Raleigh, NC. In her free time she enjoys singing, reviewing plays, and exercising. Lizzie is interested in acting, drama, and theatre. Some of her favorite music/artists include Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and the music from Wicked and Phantom of the Opera. While at WCU, is enjoying swimming, plays, concerts, sporting events, and going rock climbing. During the Fall 2015 semester, Lizzie will be working at the Adult Day Program off campus in Webster, NC.
Paige is a first-year UP student from Charlotte, NC. Paige attended Central Piedmont Community College prior to WCU, and she navigated to her classes and the cafeteria independently. In her free time, Paige enjoys reading on her Kindle, listening to music, and singing by herself. Some of her favorite artists include Big Time Rush, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, and Carrie Underwood. After she completes the UP Program, Paige would like to work with children, possibly in a daycare setting. During the Fall 2015 semester, Paige will be working at WheeKids located at Cullowhee United Methodist Church.
Cody is a first-year UP student from Rutherford County, NC. Cody is interested in taking sports education, nutrition, and health and wellness classes here at WCU. He enjoys all sports and played several in high school. For fun, Cody likes to ride bikes, run, exercise, and do karate. He also likes all types of video games, listening to music, and watching TV. Some of Cody’s favorite music includes Nick Jonas, Imagine Dragons, Pop/HipHop, and Florida Georgia Line. After finishing the UP program, Cody would like to return to Rutherford County and work in a job related to sports or acting/theatre. During the Fall 2015 semester, Cody will be working with WCU Athletics.
Ali Hale is a second-year UP student from Hickory, NC. At WCU, she is learning about early childhood education. Her interests include listening to country music (her favorite singer is Tim McGraw) and she likes to hang out with her friends. Ali was WCU’s 2014 Homecoming Queen. After she graduates, Ali wants to live in Hickory, NC by herself or with a roommate and work with kindergarteners.
Trace Shuler is a second-year UP student from Robbinsville, NC. At WCU, he is exploring a few career options, but hopes to work in the medical field to help people. His interests include: going to games, making friends, talking to friends, getting to know people, telling jokes, and doing karaoke. Trace was WCU’s 2014 Homecoming King. During the Fall 2015 semester, Trace will be working at Skyland Care Center in Sylva. After he graduates, Trace wants to live in Asheville and work in the medical field.
Jalen Cash is a second-year UP student from Mooresboro, NC. At WCU, he is learning about Sport Management. His interests include football, basketball, running, and exercise. During the Fall 2015 semester, Jalen will be working as a paid employee at the Campus Recreation Center and assisting the football team. After he graduates, Jalen wants to live in Charlotte, NC and work for a professional football team, preferably the Carolina Panthers.
UP Program Alumni
Casey Schading is a 2015 WCU UP graduate from Hickory, NC. At WCU, she focused her studies towards history. Her interests include horseback riding, camping, spending time with family, and riding bikes. Casey is working towards employment at Hickory Montessori School. She currently lives with her parents, but is working towards living independently in Hickory, NC.
took a wide variety of classes to determine her career path. Her interests include exercising, rock climbing, and hanging out with friends. Sarah is currently searching for employment. She has not decided where she would like to live, but is open to opportunities. After graduation, Sarah also traveled to Rome.
Zach Orion Benton is a 2015 WCU UP graduate from Mars Hill, NC on the edge of Weaverville, NC. At WCU, he is focused his studies on Biology. His interests include frisbee golf, running, basketball, soccer, football, being outside, mountain biking, road biking, seeing other people, and traveling. Zach is working at Ingles and currently has his own apartment.
Will Darling is a 2015 WCU UP graduate from Asheville, NC. At WCU, he took a wide variety of classes to determine his career path. In his spare time, Will likes to go on hikes, see shows, and watch movies. He also likes to go rock climbing and swimming. Will wants to work in a daycare, camp, or doing activities with the elderly. During Summer 2015, Will also served as an intern for the Asheville Art Museum.
Michael is a 2014 WCU UP graduate from Tucker GA. While concentrating him studies in Early Childhood Education, Michael attended classes through the college of Education and Allied Profession and interned at two Cullowhee-based child care facilities. Following graduation, Michael returned to GA, and is employed as a teachers assistant, at an Atlanta-area day care center. Currently, Michael is building up his savings, in order to move into an apartment with a roommate. Michael has a passion for "speaking up" for individuals with intellectual disabilities. While at WCU and following graduation, Michael participated in speaking engagements where he advocates for the special needs community. Michael has many leisure interest, including bowling and going to the movies with friends, going to the lake with his family and creating abstract artwork with colored pencils.
Austin is a UP program graduate from Winston-Salem, NC. She is learning about children and strategies for speaking in front of large groups of people. Her interests include acting, dancing, singing and playing sports. Austin is currently working at the Kneedler Child Development Center on WCU's campus. After she graduates, Austin wants to get an apartment with a roommate and work for a day care or after school program.
Maleek Gilliam is a UP Program graduate from Asheville, North Carolina. At WCU, he is learning about communications, advanced sporting and first aid classes. His interests include working in a sporting store/gym or working with elderly people on their physical exercises. Maleek Gilliam is currently working at the Campus Recreational Center (CRC). After he graduates, Maleek Gilliam wants to live with his grandparents temporarily and work for a sporting store as an assistant to start. Maleek's second job choice would be to work with elderly people on their physical stretches/therapy.
Kenneth is a UP Program graduate from the Raleigh area, N.C. At WCU, he is learning about political science, international culture, and interior design. His interests include traveling, hanging out with friends, photography, and fashion. Kenneth is currently working with Entourage and Creative Services. After he graduates, Kenneth wants to live in an apartment and work in the criminal justice or international field.
Anna is a UP Program graduate from Candler, NC. At WCU she studied childcare and worked at the Kneedler Child Development Center. Upon graduating she was hired to work at Fun Depot. Her interests include cheerleading, using the i-Pad, and swimming.
David is a UP Program graduate from Andrews, NC. At WCU he studied emergency care and worked with the athletic department and facilities management. Upon graduating, David was employed by Graham County Emergency Services where he interned during his final semester at college. His interests include karaoke and exercise. David still strives to own a log home, a Ford pickup truck with a dog box, and a blue tick hound.
Alexa is a UP Program graduate from Warne, NC. While at WCU her academic concentration was criminal justice. In her final year, Alexa interned with the WCU campus police and with the Waynesville Police Depertment. She currently lives independently, with a roommate, in Waynesville, North Carolina. Her interests include reading, dancing, cheerleading, and writing.
Aaron is from Maggie Valley, N.C.. He was a student in the UP Program at WCU from 2010-2012. His interests included attending sporting events, participating in religious organizations and hanging out with friends. He enjoyed classes, like American Sign Language and Inclusion and Recreation for People with Disabilities, that helped him advocate for others. He has worked as an office assistant in the Department of Human Services. In fall 2011, he helped with campus tours in the Office of Admission. Aaron lives independently in Waynesville, North Carolina.
Anna Grace Davis
Anna Grace is from Hayesville, N.C. She was a UP Program student from 2010-1012. Anna concentrated in performing arts. Her interests included cheerleading, dance, swimming and participating in religious organizations. She has worked in Hunter Library, the Catamount clothing store, student mail services and facilities management. Anna Grace actively seeks employment in retail and food services.
Corey is from Sylva, N.C. He was a student in the UP Program from 2010-2012 where he concentrated in landscaping and recreation. His interests included attending sporting events, hiking and playing basketball. He worked with facilities management, the campus greenhouse and the campus recreation center. Corey currently works at McDonalds and continues to focus on independent living.
Elizabeth is from from Arden, N.C.. She was a UP student from 2010-2012 where she concentrated in special education and birth to kindergarten education. Her interests included cheerleading, swimming and attending sporting events. Elizabeth loved taking education prep classes and became CPR certified. She worked in the Kneedler Child Development Center for a year and the Cullowhee United Methodist Church preschool program. Elizabeth currently lives in an apartment with two friends from WCU and actively seeks day care center employment.
Michael is from Waynesville, N.C. He was a student in the UP Program at WCU from 2007 through 2009. During the school year, he works as a consultant and mentor in the UP Program. Michael talks to the participants about how their day is going, sees if he can he helps them in any way, or helps them if they are having any problems. In the summer, he works with the Special Education Program on the Severe Disabilities Grant. Michael enjoys watching NASCAR races and going to football games. He enjoys his job and hopes to continue working with the UP Program and the Severe Disabilities Grant as long as he can.
Gary is from Waynesville, NC. He was a student in the program from 2008 through 2010. He lived in Norton Residence Hall and met a lot of friends. Overall, Gary had a great college experience. His favorite part of being at WCU was taking classes and meeting new people. Gary loved his communication class. He thinks that others should participate in the UP Program in order to gain new experiences and have fun. Gary likes to play "putt-putt" golf and volunteer as a firefighter for Lake Logan Fire Department.