ClemsonLIFE Highlight Video
Rion Holcomb Acceptance Letter
David Saville - Clemson Football
Jul 23, 18:30
Joe did a great job sharing how he is living his dream through a college experience at ClemsonLIFE. Way to go, Joe!
Jul 21, 23:08
ClemsonLIFE representing in California ❤️We love sharing about our program at the National Down Syndrome Conference!
Jul 19, 21:11
“The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.”
― Robert F. Kennedy Students and faculty at Clemson University have developed two smartphone apps to provide practical, real-world assistance to help people with intellectual disabilities maintain employment and live independently. The ClemsonLIFE Task Analysis app aids individuals in the completion of everyday tasks for home and work, while the ClemsonLIFE Meal Planner app helps users develop a weekly meal plan, manage inventory in a pantry and populate a grocery list that ensures they buy required food items each week.
Jul 14, 16:26
This girl right here is a dreamer...and one of the most determined individuals I know. When she puts her mind to something, she takes initiative and makes it happen. Katie is a rockstar on campus and her light shines from the inside out! We are so thankful she is a Clemson tiger! Katie is 21 years old. She loves singing, dancing, and acting. She has participated in Equestrian with Special Olympics in her hometown for 4 years and at ClemsonLIFE for the last two years. She was on her neighborhood swim team for thirteen years and swam competitively with Special Olympics for 4 years as well.
At ClemsonLIFE she is also participating on a swim team and unified basketball team. She loves walking four of five miles a day and making healthy meals. Katie loves haning out with her friends and she love college football especially the Clemson Tigers. She has participated in pageants in the past with most recently having been in the Miss Clemson University Pageant and she won the Philanthropy award and the Miss Congeniality award. Katie will be in her junior year at ClemsonLIFE living in an off campus apartment with two of her friends. She is actively involved in Sigma Kappa Sorority on Clemson's campus. She has made many life long friends at Clemson University. Katie loves cheerleading and was on a competitive cheer team for nine years.
Katie has Down Syndrome and was diagnosed when she was born. Down Syndrome has a wide spectrum of effects. Katie's mom, Krista writes "for Katie, she has a small stature and learning delays. She was diagnosed with heart issues when she was fisrt born but these heart issue did not cause any long term concerns. She has small ears and this has lead to many ear infection from her birth but as she got older, the ear infections did minimize. However she did have some long term hearing loss but nothing too major or life changing. In Katie's daily life she has never been limited by her disability but rather her family always assumed she could adapt to her situations. She attended regular education preschool, elementary school, middle school and high school and was included with all her typical peers. She participated in high school on her basketball varsity cheer squad with no changes to what was expected of her. She was in multiple plays in high school as well working alongside her peers in the theater club. Katie likes to have things repeated to her a few times so she completely understand what she needs to do and how to do it. And it takes her a bit longer to get things done. Overall she is more like all of us than she is different.
We do not set any limits or boundaries for Katie and neither does she. We have always assumed that she can do whatever she wants to do. She finds activities and participates in the things that interest her. We usually have to make some minor modifications and work with the folks in charge but typically everyone is accepting of her. She found the Miss Clemson University Pageant information for freshman year at Clemson and talked to her teacher about wanting to participate and went the informational meetings. After talking to the director and making sure it would be fine for ClemsonLIFE to sponsor her - she was off and rolling doing what she does best - Being on Stage - performing. She is very social and has a very out going personality so everyone loves being around her happy cheerful self. The ClemsonLIFE program has been and will be life altering for her and our family in that the goal is she will be a self sufficient and independent living person in her community with a job and giving back to those around her.
Krista wants new parents to know, "Definitely not to plan too far in advance. Never in a million years at age 1 did I dream that there would be opportunities for college and independent living options. Do not put any limitation or false expectations around what a child with a disability can or can not do because they will do more than you could ever imagine. Enjoy every moment - good and bad. It makes us a better person and allow us to be better advocates for our children and in the community.
Katie is awesome because she has brought so much joy and inspiration to those who know her. She tries so hard at everything she does and never stops. She has so much love for life and so much passion for the things she loves to do. She works hard and does not let her diagnosis limit her in any way. Katie tells me that she loves her life. She has dreams and goals like all young adults do. She has a passion for theater and may want to be on Broadway or most recently she expressed an interest in competitive body building, national beauty pageants and even designing her own line of clothing. The sky is truly the limit for someone who dreams big. Her family is her to support her and make these dreams a reality. It may not always be easy but if you want something you do have to work hard for it and she does."
Katie, the sky is the limit for those who dream big! In your life, you go after BIG! Whether it is body building, Broadway, designing your own clothes, or pageants, it is all within your reach! Pursue your dreams without regret or fear and doors will open! You inspire us all.
Katie is #JustLikeYou
Jul 13, 21:10
We love our Clemson Family! Sport can be powerful! Check out this video recap from the first ever Clemson Intramurals “Be A STAR” program. For this pilot program, Intramural Sports teamed with ClemsonLIFE to host STAR Basketball, where students participated alongside ClemsonLIFE students while emphasizing the values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, And Respect. We can’t wait to introduce more “Be A STAR” initiatives next year, and hope you can join us! Be on the lookout for updates as the fall semester begins! http://ow.ly/s0nu30dvDMr
Jul 13, 17:45
Welcome to Tiger Nation, Zachary! We cannot wait to have Zachary on campus and experience the Clemson culture! He is going to have a wonderful collegiate experience as he learns independent living and employment skills! You ARE a Clemson tiger! Zachary is 19 years old. He enjoys playing, attending and watching any sports events, being in or attending musicals, going to the movies or watching movies on TV, eating out, socializing with others, and reading history textbooks. He also will be starting his first year at ClemsonLIFE this fall!
Zachary has an intellectual disability, however, if you spend time talking to him you will realize that this unique ability does not slow him down one bit. His mom, Denise writes, "Yes, he has incredible self-esteem and thinks of his special need as a true benefit that others unfortunately in his opinion, don't have. Zachary wants to travel the world sharing his gift and showing people that inclusion works."
Denise wants new parents to know "How much joy Zachary would bring to our family and all those around us. He has also taught us all to have high expectations for everyone and they will reach them if we provide the support for them to get there. Zachary is incredible. He exceeds all expectations and is such a joy!He has never seen a goal that he hasn't wanted to achieve and he truly inspires all around him. He is a testament to what can be achieved when a community and school allows people with unique abilities to be included. He has been manager of his HS football team, manager of the girls softball team, in the school choir, in the school acting club and in the school musical, been homecoming king, attended homecoming dance and prom, been in all regular classes and more. He also enjoys participating in Special Olympics track and Challenger Basketball and Baseball. He loves it all and wants to travel the world to be an inspiration to others!"
She concludes, "Zachary also knows more about history, politics and the Bible than most people. He reads non-stop and enjoys debating. We are so proud of him and the community in which we have been lucky to live. "
Zachary, your life IS a testament to inclusion. You do and enjoy the same exact activities as everyone else and then some! You clearly crush your goals after you put your mind to it! May nothing stand in your way. May nothing hold you back from changing the world by just being you!
Zachary is #JustLikeYou
Jul 13, 15:03
ClemsonLIFE is hiring! Do you want to be a part of an incredible team? Do you want to work with some of the most amazing students on campus? Do you want to receive free housing, a meal plan, AND a monthly stipend? ClemsonLIFE is seeking to fill a female ILA (Independent Living Assistant) position for the 2017-2018 school year. If you are interested or know someone who would be the perfect person for this position, please reach out to us!
Jul 12, 14:59
Zach is a legend on the baseball field, in the community and in ClemsonLIFE. We are so thankful for his humor, work ethics, and passion he has for his tigers! His senior year is going to be his best yet! Zach is 24 years old. Zach loves to swim, listen to music on his IPHONE, watch all professional and collegiate sports, work at Publix, and help manage the Clemson Tigers baseball team.
Zach has Down Syndrome. His mom Mary writes "He has always worked hard and given his best. In the past three years while attending the ClemsonLIFE program, Zach has learned how to live independently and support himself financially . He is now living off campus with roommates, working a part time job at Publix and is an equipment manager for the Clemson Tigers baseball team. Zach continues to grow in all areas of his life. Mary states as advice for new parents, "I wish I had known not to worry as much about the present and future for Zach because of his disability."
Zach will be a senior this fall in the ClemsonLIFE program and is living independently off of the Clemson University campus in an apartment with roommates. He is working a part time job at Publix and is completely financially independent. Zach is also the equipment manager for the Clemson Tigers baseball team."
He will graduate Spring 2018 from ClemsonLIFE and will also be a part of the Clemson University graduation ceremonies.
Zach, what an incredibly productive time you have had in these almost 4 years! As you finish this year, you can look back at the awards you have won, the recognitions you have been given, the people you have met, the hard work you have accomplished, and take that same attitude everywhere you go to move mountains, to change hearts, win friendships, and make this world a more kind and better place to live!
Zach is #JustLikeYou
Jul 11, 14:55
Marsden is a Clemson Tiger through and through. He bleeds orange and nothing is going to slow him down! Way to go, Marsden! Marsden is 20 years old. He enjoys Watching/Managing high school football team, spending time with family, listening to music, hanging out with friends, bowling, going out to eat, Play PlayStation games, Shopping, and watching any sport on ESPN.
Marsden is diagnosed with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. His mom, LaMonica writes, "It affects my child's daily life by causing him to be permanently paralyzed by the waist down. My son has adapted to being in a wheelchair at all times and being able to catherize himself on a daily basis. He has changed for better by staying positive and not letting his disability get the best of him.
He is also doing better by taking care of himself, by making his own decisions while being a student in College.
I wish I knew back in time, more about his hydrocephalus and how to watch the growth of his head to be able to tell when the fluid was building on his brain and not draining. His first shunt that was put in place did not work for six months, therefore, causing more brain damage. I also wish I knew then how to watch his body for pressure spots that eventually caused ulcers to the skin.
My child is so amazing because, he does not allow his disability to get the best of him. He goes anywhere he wants to go with minimal assistance. His motto is 'You can do anything you put your mind to.'
Marsden was told by doctors he wouldn't live past the age of 10 because his organs were affected by his disability, and would shut down. He never believed it, and wrote it off long time ago, by taking care of his body. He is a kid that only drinks water, because he know it is healthy for him. He exercises a lot to build upper body strength to be able to get around on his own. He has completed high school, and his freshman year of college. If you want to make this kid push, tell him something he can't do. Marsden was told he would never go to college, and he found the ClemsonLIFE program and followed it for 2 years before his graduation and told me everyday until he was accepted that he was going to Clemson University.
I can't believe as a parent I initially doubted him, but that's why I am so proud of him. He never stopped and never gave up, no matter what I said. Now I push him more and will keep pushing him to do the best that he can do even with his disability."
Marsden, you were told you would not live past the age of 10... and at 20 you are thriving! Then, they told you would never go to college. You proved them wrong again! And now you are at Clemson. You live your motto "You can do anything you put your mind to!" You show us every single day that the only limitations on us are the ones of our own mind. You certainly never believed them. Therefore, you have none. Keep proving "them" wrong. Live your dream. Always.
Mardsen is #JustLikeYou
Jul 10, 19:51
So proud of ClemsonLIFE graduate, Hilary! She is living the dream ❤️ Hilary is 25 years old. She enjoys working, exercising, getting together with friends, cheering for the Clemson Tigers and her cousin who plays for the New York Jets and anyone else who she knows. Hilary is a super fan!
Her mom, Alison writes "she is confident, has the best attitude and is not afraid to try new things. She is very flexible with her schedule and is happy to go along with what others want to do. She loves visiting with friends, old and new. She was excited to move 7 hours away from home to attend ClemsonLIFE for 4 years, and thanks to that program she is living on her own with minimal support from her parents."
Hilary, you are meant to thrive and you are going to do just that! After graduating ClemsonLIFE, may you go on to do anything you put your mind to!
Hilary is #JustLikeYou
Jun 28, 00:22
Robert did an incredible job of sharing about his freshman year at Clemson with the SEPSEA! We love when our ClemsonLIFE families tell their stories-they say it best!
Jun 23, 18:37
Our ClemsonLIFE family grew by a tiger! Welcome to the family, Jackson Redd Sorrells! 💙
Jun 16, 16:26
Andrew is having a great summer working for the Greenville Drive! He got to meet a pretty cool guy this weekend too 😎
Jun 13, 01:25
We are so thankful for those who continue to support the amazing students of ClemsonLIFE! Thank you Ruby's Rainbow! Our first acceptance package has made it!! Dalton Cron will be attending ClemsonLIFE in the fall and could not be more excited!! He is wanting to learn to live on his own and have his own business or job when he graduates. He is SUPER social, so he dreams of working somewhere he can meet lots of people and make new friends, like a coffee shop or a little restaurant or something. One of his favorite things to tell his parents is, "I will live by myself and you guys will have to learn to let go." HA! He was the basketball and football team manager, sang in the choir and was on the honor roll.
He was even elected homecoming king and one of his friends said,"“I know Dalton is an incredible young man who lights up our school hallways, makes friends quickly and he keeps them forever. He is a friend that knows loyalty and support is not something he just receives, but is what he gives to every single friend he has. Dalton was not elected homecoming king because of his disability, he was elected by the entire school because they believed he represented each and every student in our school and because he represents our school mission statement.”
Oh my heart!! We are SO proud of you Dalton and so honored to be a part of our journey!! CONGRATS and we can't wait to see what your first year at Clemson brings!!!
#keeponrockinitdalton #rockinthatextrachromosome #Rockinrecipeintrule #theluckyfew
May 19, 20:50
We are thrilled to have Frankie joining the ClemsonLIFE family this fall! #gotigers #clemsonlifefamily #JustLikeYou Project: Just Like You is proud to share Frankie's story! He is an athlete with the Special Olympics South Carolina.
Frankie is 19 years old. He enjoys playing sports, he is a DJ and loves spinning music, hanging with friends, playing PS4.
He competes in Basketball, Swimming, and Golf. His practice and training consist of work with his personal trainer which enables him to be a healthy weight and encourages healthy eating choices as well. He loves to compete and work. He is dedicated to his work in the weight room. He has loved sports his entire life. His mom, Debbie, writes, "He sings like Darius Rucker, swings like Derrek Jeter, shoots like Kobe Bryant!"
The family celebrates his victories by "[Promoting] positive atmosphere with praise and encouragement to continue to do what [he] loves to do!"
Frankie is diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
Frankie brings confidence and a positive attitude to each task and his energy is contagious.
Debbie wants new parents to know "I wish I would have enjoyed my time with him as a baby instead of worrying about his future."
"Frankie is a DJ, has a personal trainer and is in terrific shape and he has spoken all over the country about Bullying and how to treat others with respect. He will be a freshman in the ClemsonLIFE Program August 2017. He is smart, handsome, funny, likeable, social and happens to have Down Syndrome. It doesn't define him, it is a part of who he is."
Frankie, you continue to pull others up through your speaking. You continue to inspire. Now you are off to college this fall to pursue whatever you want to do! There are no limits, and you know this!
Frankie is #JustLikeYou
May 18, 03:01
So proud of our graduates! Clemson University students gear up for graduation
May 11, 17:34
Congratulations to our graduates today! 🎓 Thank you Clemson University for making inclusion a priority!
May 10, 19:06
Go Zach! Zach Buchanan is in the center of the action for the Tiger baseball team.
May 01, 21:54
Check out this great article in The Atlantic! “These are people who fought their whole lives to get something out of special education. College just opens up a whole new world of who they can be.”