Current UP Students
Ali Hale is a first -year participant 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 roommate. Ali is currently working at Cullowhee United Methodist Church with children in the childcare department. After she graduates, Ali wants to live in Hickory, North Carolina by herself and work with kindergarteners.
Trace is a first-year participant from Robinsville, NC. At WCU, he is learning about possible career options, but hopes to take classes in the medical field. His interests include: going to games, making friends, talking to friends, getting to know people, telling jokes, and doing karaoke. Trace is currently working at the Provost's Office where he files paperwork other important documents. After he graduates, Trace wants to live in Asheville and work as a nurse or a doctor.
Jalen Cash is a first-year participant from Mooresboro, NC. At WCU, he is learning about Sport Management. His interests include football, basketball, running and exercise. Jalen is currently working with the WCU football team. After he graduates, Jalen wants to live in Charlotte, NC and work for a professional football team.
Casey Schading is a second-year participant from Hickory, N.C. At WCU, she is learning about history. Her interests include horseback riding, camping, spending time with family, and riding bikes. Casey is currently working at the WCU Mountain Heritage Center. After she graduates, Casey wants to live in her own apartment and work for a museum.
Sarah Hubbard is a second-year participant from Chapel Hill. At WCU, she has not decided what she would like to learn about, but is looking forward to her classes. Her interests include exercising, rock climbing, and hanging out with friends. Sarah Hubbard is currently working at the student mail room. After she graduates, she had not decided where she would like to live but is open to the opportunities.
Zach Orion Benton is a second-year student from Mars Hill on the edge of Weaverville, NC. At WCU, he is learning about Biology. His interests include frisbee golf, running when it's cool, basketball, soccer, and football, being outside mountain biking and road biking, seeing other people, and traveling. Zach Orion Benton is currently working at the campus greenhouse. After he graduates, Zach wants to live in a house with a Subaru Baja and a cat, and work as a groundskeeper mowing and weed-eating lawns when it's thick.
My name is Will Darling. This is my 2nd year at WCU. I am taking some classes to figure out what I want to do. This summer I worked at a gym cleaning yoga mats and also mirrors and windows and weights . In my spare time I like to go on hikes. I also like to see shows and movies. I also like to go climbing and swimming. I want to try working in a day care with little kids. I am excited to be at WCU.
UP Program Alumni
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 participant 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 participant 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 participant 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 participant 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 participant 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 participant 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.