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Alumni Feature: Drew Konitzer

University Participant Alumni 19’

Portrait of Drew Konitzer


Andrew (Drew) Havemann Konitzer graduated from the University Participant (UP) program in the Spring of 2019. He moved into an apartment in his hometown of Shelby, North Carolina after graduation where he is the master of his domain. Living independently has taught Drew to care for himself and maintain his home. He is responsible for preparing meals, housekeeping, and doing his laundry on the weekends.

He works for Cleveland County Schools in food services using the skills he learned in college. While at Western he worked part time with Aramark, at Mad Batter, and Jackson County Schools. Since Drew doesn’t drive he is assisted by provider supports from the community to transport him to and from work. During school breaks Drew volunteers with hospice and the Life Enrichment Center. Needless to say he stays busy with his activities.

Drew is able to live independently because of his determination and the awesome UP Program at Western Carolina University. Living and attending classes with Western students taught Drew to be a productive part of a larger community. As a responsible member of that community he learned to be courteous and treat others with respect. These terrific life skills have helped him make friends and interact with colleagues while working and volunteering. He is a planner and updates his calendar regularly. This tool that he learned to use at Western is his compass for navigating activities and commitments. In his free time Drew enjoys working out, playing guitar, going to movies and concerts, and spending time with his family.

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