ClemsonLIFE program graduates 14 this semester

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 10:54 PM EDT
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CLEMSON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - It’s the season of graduation. For some at Clemson University, this marks the next big step if their journey of life.

ClemsonLife is a program that helps to prepare people with “intellectual disabilities for competitive employment and independent living through a combination of academic coursework and career exploration,” as their website reads.

“Learning is a lifelong pursuit,” said Joe Ryan, the program’s executive director.

“it gave me a chance to go to college,” said Tyler Trout, a student who just graduated the program this semester.

This experience is one he feels is special and transformative. It taught him how to live on his own, the importance of having a job and skills, and “life stability”.

14 students graduated from the program this semester. They had the option of a two or four your certificate plan.

“96 percent of our graduates are employed afterwards,” Ryan said.

“It feels really good because I am surrounded with friends, love, and my family,” Emily Parkey Ferguson said, another student who’s graduated. “I found an apartment already, living on my own.”