College Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities featuring the TigerLIFE program at the University of Memphis

by Carjamin Scott on July 25, 2018, at 8:05 p.m. CST

Students with intellectual disabilities are able to attend college. Since 2010, five colleges in Tennessee have offered inclusive post-secondary education opportunities for high school graduates interested in furthering their education.

According to the TN Inclusive Higher Education Alliance website, “students with intellectual disabilities attending a comprehensive training program (CTP), are able to use federal financial aid to help pay the cost of attendance.”

CTPs are degree, certificate, or non-degree programs for students with intellectual disabilities. All of TN’s programs are CTPs, but only one program, TigerLIFE at the University of Memphis, is a designated community rehabilitation provider (CRP).

CRPs focus on “practices that reflect individual integrated employment as a priority outcome,” as stated on the Think Works website.

TigerLife at the University of Memphis by Maurice “Moe” Williams

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Maurice “Moe” Williams, photo from University of Memphis website

TigerLIFE (Learning, Independence, Fostering Employment & Education) at the University of Memphis is “a 60-hour program culminating in a completion award in Career and Community Studies. Participation in the Tiger LIFE program provides students with an option for continuing their education beyond high school to increase employment opportunities,” as indicated on the TigerLIFE website.

As noted in the Daily Helmsman, “Moe Williams, associate director of the University of Memphis Institute on Disability and founder of the TigerLIFE program, developed the program as part of his Master’s thesis. Williams was working at the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau as the director of education programs while working on his Master’s degree.”

“We (TigerLIFE) are unique because we are the only employment-based training institute in the state of TN,” stated Williams.

TigerLIFE also has these three unique features.

  1. TigerLIFE has the highest enrollment in the state, 75-100 students.
  2. The tuition at TigerLIFE is the least expensive in the state, $4,950.00 per semester.
  3. The TigerLIFE program is administered alongside the University of Memphis Institute on Disability (UMID), a team of disability researchers.

Williams mentioned, “We operate differently and work collaboratively with a behavioral staff who monitors our curriculum and the day to day activities of our students.”

The University of Memphis Institute on Disability (UMID)

The University of Memphis Institute on Disability (UMID) as stated on the website has “formed alliances with government, private, academic and legal entities to research and develop programs which encourage people with disabilities to pursue higher education toward graduation and employment.”

TigerLIFE collaborates with the UMID, particularly for behavioral intervention and program analysis. UMID sets the curriculum for students, assists with career readiness, and facilitates job placement.

Tennessee’s Inclusive Post-Secondary Institutions

All of TN’s inclusive programs have different features and benefits, such as on-campus housing, which TigerLIFE does not provide. Below is a list of the other inclusive post-secondary institutions in the Tennessee.

  • Next Steps at Vanderbilt University
  • FUTURE at University of TN Knoxville
  • IDEAL at Lipscomb University
  • EDGE at Union University

Additional Research on this Topic Pending

Carjamin is a candidate for the Doctorate in Education emphasizing Learning Organizations and Strategic Change. Her anticipated graduation date is December 2018.

To culminate her degree, she will co-author the capstone group project titled Parents’ Perceptions of TN Inclusive Post-Secondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities.

The issue the research will present is the parent’s perception of the impact of IPSE programs for their student with ID in the state of TN. This research is intended to help with undertaking continued analyses and assist our client, Dr. Erik Carter of Vanderbilt University and the TN Inclusive Higher Education Alliance with determining what success means for parents with children enrolled in IPSE programs.

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie.

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Healthy and Free Tennessee’s Youth Leadership Council Paid Internship

Submitted by Healthy and Free Tennessee August 10, 2018, at 4:32 p.m. CST

Healthy and Free Tennessee’s Youth Leadership Council Paid Internship

Healthy and Free Tennessee has a paid intern partnership opportunity for college students between the ages of 18-24 to serve a one year term on the council and be a key partner of HFTN’s ongoing organizing, advocacy, and culture change work across the state.

The goals of Healthy and Free Tennessee’s Youth Leadership Council are to:

  1. Mobilize young people to end the culture of shame and stigma that people are made to feel about sexual and reproductive health issues that intersect with abortion access including sex education, HIV decriminalization, pregnancy and birthing options, LGBT identity and work toward building a culture of empathy and support

  2. Create a space where young people feel comfortable coming forward and sharing their experiences with abortion access and other reproductive health issues, which can include pregnancy and parenting, sex education HIV status, LGBT identity, in their communities and on campuses

  3. Increase public awareness and support of abortion access, pregnancy and parenting options, sex education, HIV, LGBT identity as well as other sexual and reproductive health issues

  4. Educate the media on issues related to sexual and reproductive health

  5. Advocate for policies that promote access to reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy on a local and national level, which can include abortion access, sex education, pregnancy and parenting options, HIV Decriminalization, and LGBT equality

Requirements:

Healthy and Free Tennessee Youth Leadership Council members must demonstrate the interest, capacity, and resources to organize strategic, meaningful campaign actions on their college campuses or within their communities.

Applicants interested in becoming a member of Healthy and Free TN’s Youth Leadership Council must:

  • Commit to a year (Fall 2018-Summer 2019) of leadership on the council

  • Be familiar with the principles of organizing or willing to learn and further develop organizing skills

  • Be willing to use and strengthen communication skills. This includes speaking to groups, the media, and community members; additionally, writing, blogging and utilizing social media

  • Be available for monthly group check-ins and bi-weekly individual check-ins

  • Be able to coordinate events on campus and in the greater community about abortion access and other reproductive health issues

  • Have a strong framework and analysis of power, privilege, and oppression and the willingness to further understand the intersections of reproductive rights and sexual health

Healthy and Free Tennessee Mission

The mission of Healthy and Free Tennessee is to provide access, “for Tennesseans to truly determine our own reproductive and sexual lives on our terms, we need full access to local, affordable, safe, timely, and affirming healthcare and providers. We need comprehensive education about sex, sexuality, and reproduction. We need universal health insurance that covers the full range of reproductive and sexual healthcare needs. We need social and cultural spaces that affirm our choices rather than shame and stigmatize them,” as mentioned on the HFT website.

We need comprehensive education about sex, sexuality, and reproduction. We need universal health insurance that covers the full range of reproductive and sexual healthcare needs. We need social and cultural spaces that affirm our choices rather than shame and stigmatize them.

If you’re interested in working with the council or want to help support the youth council in any way please contact Briana Perry at briana@healthyandfreetn.org.

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie.

My Kaleidoscope Moment Happened When I Began to Value my Faith More than my Sexuality.

by Carjamin Scott on August 8, 2018, at 4:32 p.m. CST

The Kaleidoscope Project (TKP) was created by Rev. Shantell Hinton, assistant university chaplain and assistant director of religious life at Vanderbilt University.

“TKP is really just a way for us to share our stories and be apart of a beloved community of people who want to expand our vision as people of faith. It is my hope that it opens space for conversations that are not being held in church spaces enough and, as a result, helps people experience newfound freedom in their faith walks,” said Hinton.

I was interviewed by Rev. Hinton for TKP. The interview began with a simple question, “What was your kaleidoscope moment?”

The kaleidoscope moment question was addressed after I introduced myself, “Hi, I’m Carjie Scott, a wife, mom, and blogger at carjiescott.com.”

To address the kaleidoscope moment question, I had to reflect on what it took for me to become who I am today.

“My kaleidoscope moment happened when I began to value my faith more than my sexuality.” I responded.

Spring of 2012

In the Spring of 2012, I was young, dating, and single. I was in my mid-twenties and began to realize that my girlfriends could be categorized into groups: single no kids, single with kids, married, and married with kids. Because of how I was raised, I knew that I’d fall into the single no kids category and I had no problem with that.

In fact, if you want me to be honest, I was raised to believe that:

  • kids are a burden and I shouldn’t have any.
  • if I got married, it needs to be to someone with money.
  • if I got pregnant while single then I may as well put all my dreams on hold.
  • and men were only interested in two things, women and new women.

So, for a long time, I only entertained intimate relationships out of convenience and I would only get into relationships that I felt like I could control.

I wanted more from relationships.

One night, after talking to one guy on the phone and simultaneously texting another on my laptop, I got up, walked to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and said, “enough is enough.”

“No more wasting time entertaining people that I have no real connection with, no more pretending to be someone I’m not and then disappearing, no more leading great guys on that could probably be the perfect husband for someone else,” I said to the mirror.

“‘What’s in it for me?’, “What can I get out of this relationship?’ and ‘Does this person fit my dream guy list?'”

I decided to change my thinking of, “‘What’s in it for me?’, “What can I get out of this relationship?’ and ‘Does this person fit my dream guy list?'”

I made a conscious effort to tell myself everyday, “Critique yourself before you critique others and figure out what can you bring to the relationship besides your sexuality.”

What can I bring to the relationship?

Eventually that statement manifested to reveal how I needed to learn what I can bring to all relationships. My relationships became give and take. I began to love myself enough to know what I would and would not tolerate both personally and professionally.

The block, ignore, delete, and unfollow buttons became useful to me.

The block, ignore, delete, and unfollow buttons became useful to me.

Then, my real life and online social circle changed. I started becoming friends with women that were goal oriented, successful in their careers, and advocates for their community. My online social timelines changed, too. They became filled with of uplifting, motivational, and goal-oriented content.

I met great women who wanted to become wives and mothers or were already. These women were college educated, strong, independent, God fearing women who had dreams and desires to make a difference in the world.

I began attending local young professional organizations. I was invited to exclusive events. I was networking with the right people. I was becoming more involved with my community.

It was important for me to give in relationships and I quickly determined how to balance how much to give and how much to take.

It was important for me to give in relationships and I quickly determined how to balance how much to give and how much to take.

I finally realized that I had more to offer an intimate partner than my sexuality. I became more conservative with time and money in platonic relationships. I no longer allowed myself to be used by people that were my so-called, “friends.” I learned how and was able to provide more to my job than simply exceeding sales goals. Then, my relationship with God shifted.

My faith journey and new relationship with God.

Yes, even my relationship with Him was about wanting something or questioning why things had to happen the way that they did. I wanted answers about my mother’s death, my father’s issues, and having to be born into poverty.

It wasn’t until I took that look in the mirror and reflected on what I am supposed to be doing for others that I realized how even my relationship with God was all about what can God do for me.

All along, everything was supposed to have been about what I can do for Him.

All along, everything was supposed to have been about what I can do for Him.

The benefits of valuing my faith over my sexuality.

There have been so many benefits to valuing my faith over my sexuality that I can literally write a couple of books about it. God has been so incredible to me that you would not believe all of my testimonies about Him.

The opportunity to interview for the TKP would not have manifested if it wasn’t for me valuing my faith over my sexuality. I would not have the job I have, the life I live, the family I’ve got, or anything if I would’ve stayed on my path from years ago.

The recorded interview is slated to be available later this year. I was very vulnerable when I recorded it, sharing some intimate details that I hope will bless somebody.

Have you had your kaleidoscope moment?

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie.

Brittany L. Mosby, Inaugural Director of HBCU Success, Discusses Mental Self Care

by Carjamin Scott on July 30, 2018, at 7:32 p.m. CST

Brittany L. Mosby is the inaugural director of HBCU success at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC).

Mosby, an HBCU graduate, completed two mathematics degrees. A B.S. in Mathematics from Spelman College and an M.S in Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University. Currently, she is a Doctor of Education student at Vanderbilt University studying Higher Education Leadership and Policy.

Prior to working for THEC, Mosby spent 7 years as an associate professor, teaching Mathematics and Statistics at Pellissippi State Community College.

“I loved teaching students, and felt that my education and teaching career had prepared me for strategic data positions,” said Mosby.

Rejection and Discouragement

Mosby began applying for jobs in her skillset and received rejection letters from them.

“I was discouraged after that because I spent a considerable amount of time completing job applications and got no feedback, only rejection letters,” she said.

A friend at THEC told her to apply for the director of HBCU success position. She mentioned, “I was tired of applying for stuff and not getting it, so I didn’t apply initially.” Eventually, Mosby applied and several months went by. She expected that she did not get the position.

In addition to dealing with the issue of rejection after applying for jobs, Mosby was experiencing the stress associated with working while enrolled in school and battling a relationship.

Mosby recalled, “I had a toxic friendship I was battling, I still hadn’t heard anything from THEC, and school was becoming more demanding.”

“You know, sometimes, being a college student can bring out issues of self-worth. I found myself asking questions like, Am I worthy? Am I supposed to be here? Do I belong here?”

“You know, sometimes, being a college student can bring out issues of self-worth. I found myself asking questions like, Am I worthy? Am I supposed to be here? Do I belong here?” she explained.

DSC_0081Self-Care and Therapy

Her therapist empowered her to make decisions that were the best for her in ways that friends, classmates, and family could not have. Her therapist said, “Brittany, your ego is resilient, you are still going to work and school. You are whole, you are living a fulfilled life.”

When she was least expecting it, she received a phone call notifying her that she was selected for the director of HBCU student success position. “I had applied for that job in June and didn’t hear back until October,” she said.

“There is value in divine timing and things aligning in life, particularly things that you do not expect to happen.”

Considering everything, Mosby says it felt like, “Jonah and the Whale.” God gave her another chance and she took it. “There is value in divine timing and things aligning in life, particularly things that you do not expect to happen.”


Correct all grammar errors with Grammarly!

Message about Success 

She is excited to see what will happen at TN HBCUs. Her focus is on student success, completion, and retention.

“It’s not basketball, it’s not Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, that’s not common. We can’t teach our kids to wait for a one in a million chance. They need to be proactively engaged in their future. They need to go to college, get degrees, and find employment. It is all connected.”

What else is connected to success? Education, physical health, and mental health.

What else is connected to success? Education, physical health, and mental health. Mosby believes that mental self-care is necessary to get the most out of your college education, your career trajectory, and your relationships.

“My therapist is one of the most important relationships in my life,” she mentioned.

Mosby further explained, “People need to understand that the goal of therapy is to have you functioning at optimal capacity. In popular culture, it’s portrayed that therapy is only about assigning blame and looking backward – but that is not the case.”

Brittany L. Mosby’s Quotes on Therapy

“Therapy is a self-care indulgence.”

“Blood pressure checks are as important as mental illness and anxiety.”

“As a community, we measure blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. We need to tackle measuring and assessing our mental health.”

“Good Christians pray to God to take care of their mental health AND they go see a therapist. Faith without work is dead.”

Key Takeaways

The issue of mental health and self-care awareness is real. According to a Vanderbilt-led study, the risk of suicide for teens aged 15-17 has increased, particularly during the month of October. The study was conducted from 2008-2015 at children’s hospitals across America. Other studies indicate, aside from alcohol-related deaths, suicide is the number one cause of death for college students.

aside from alcohol-related deaths, suicide is the number one cause of death for college students.

Major life changes, strained relationships, dealing with issues from the past, feelings of isolation, and using substances to cope are all great reasons to see a therapist. Research indicates that therapy helps to manage health conditions and is worth attending even without a medical problem.

The common misconception that a therapist is simply trying to figure out what is wrong with you is just not true. If you have not seen a therapist, it’s time that you invest in one. Mental health is as important as physical health. Everyone can benefit from talking to a therapist. Mental health is an integral part of our overall health and well being.

Other Articles of Interest

Setting the Agenda for Tennessee’s HBCUs

Meet Tennessee’s New Director of Student Success

Mental Health in Schools: A Hidden Crisis Affecting Millions of Students

New York, Virginia become the first to require mental health education in schools

11 Very Good Reasons to Go to Therapy

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie.

Fall 2018 College Student Wish List and Savings Guide sponsored by Target and TargetREDcard.

by Carjamin Scott on July 27, 2018, at 8:05 p.m. CST

It’s almost time to go back to school which means it’s time to go shopping for all the things that will personalize your college experience. Target is your one-stop shop, with dorm room essentials, cool technology, groceries, personal care items and much more.

This post is sponsored by Target and features 3 ways to save money with your TargetREDcard. Below are links to the items you want.

One more thing, if you are like me, you will want this wish list to get started.

 

Use this savings guide for 3 great ways to save at Target!

1. Save 15% with Advanced Purchases

Avoid the lines and use College Order Pick Up. This advanced online ordering service saves you 15% on your purchase.

Follow this link to get started with advance ordering at Target and save 15% on your purchase.

2. Save up to 50% on Clearance

Save up to 50% on clearance items at Target. Here are a few links to dorm room essentials.

  • Storage and Organization link
  • Bedding, Bed Skirts, and Decorative Pillows link
  • Dorm Kitchenette link
  • Beauty, Health, and Personal Care link

Use the banner or links in this post to begin saving on clearance priced items.

3. Buy everything with your Target REDcard debit or credit account and save an additional 5%. If you do not have a card already, here are just a few of the many perks.

  • Save 5% on Starbucks inside Target stores
  • Save 5% on Top Deals of the Week
  • Save 5% on specialty gift cards for travel, restaurants, movie tickets, and more.
  • Save an additional 5% on all clearance items.

Sign up for your TargetREDcard account using my exclusive banner below.

Like this post? Be sure to share this post on facebook with the hashtags #collegelife and #targetstyle. Please mention @Target and @Carjie Scott.

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Note: Shopping at Target using the links and advertisements above will support this blog financially. Thank you for your support, Carjie

Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie.

Dr. Shanna L. Jackson, the First Black Female President of Nashville State Community College, Discusses her Pathway to the Presidency.

by Carjamin Scott on July 15, 2018, at 10:30 p.m. CST

Dr. Shanna L. Jackson, the first black female president of Nashville State Community College, was the keynote speaker at the inaugural Black Women’s Empowerment Brunch hosted by the Equity Alliance.

Dr. Jackson is the product of two college-educated parents. Her mother instilled the importance of believing in God, and her father was the first in his family to graduate from college. Dr. Jackson mentioned that her father’s education was his gateway out of poverty. Her parents encouraged her to set big goals and never let gender or skin color stop her from reaching her dreams.

“At 5 years old, I told my parents that I want to become the first female President of the United States,” said Dr. Jackson.

Her education career began as an instructor at South College, this was the first time she experienced students that were not from two-parent households, students who were the first in their family to attend college, students who did not have a support system that encouraged them to attend school, students who had issues outside of school such as childcare needs, and students who grew up in a home where attending college was not expected.

“This is when I learned the difference between equality and equity. I was “woke,” I realized that my instructor job was not about me. I had a purpose to serve,” she said.

Dr. Jackson explained, “Education is the key to both economic and political empowerment. Education does not just prepare you for a job, it changes families.”

Dr. Jackson explained, “Education is the key to both economic and political empowerment. Education does not just prepare you for a job, it changes families.”

This experience changed Dr. Jackson’s childhood goal and the path to the presidency of a community college began.

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Dr. Shanna Jackson, Keynote Speaker, and NSCC President

Pathway to Presidency

Here are the steps Dr. Jackson took to become the first Black female president of Nashville State Community College.

First, she found a mentor, then she found a sponsor.

Dr. Jackson sought college leaders out, told them what she wanted to do, and asked them for feedback on how she can reach her goal. She learned the difference between mentors and sponsors.

“Mentors are great, but sponsors are better. Sponsors have the power to make things happen on your behalf,” explained Dr. Jackson.

She discussed the importance of creating relationships and surrounding yourself with people who are critical, open, and honest with you about your strengths and your shortcomings.

She printed community college president job descriptions.

She printed out community college president job descriptions to determine the strengths she had and the gaps she needed to fill before she could serve in the position. She began to apply and was interviewed for a position.

She persevered through adversity.

She was turned down for a college president position that a mentor told her to apply for. After the interview, she met with the mentor, they discussed what she needed to work on, and it helped her to prepare for her next interview opportunity.

She researched current community college presidents to learn their similarities.

She researched current community college presidents to learn their career background, education, and impact at the colleges they lead. She wrote down her strengths and what she needed to learn to become a community college president. “I created a plan to fill the gaps because I realized that I had a calling to fulfill,” she stated.

She furthered her education.

She enrolled at Tennessee State University and earned a Doctorate in Education degree while working and raising kids. Her husband supported her goals and she was able to complete the degree in three years.

She bloomed where she was planted.

After reaching a career ceiling, she began talking to the College President she worked for at the time, about how she wanted to move the college forward. Soon, a new position was created, she applied and interviewed. Then, she became the Executive Assistant to the President. Dr. Jackson explained, “This was a critical turning point in my career because it provided the breadth and depth I needed to reach my goal.”

On June 1, 2018, eleven years after earning her doctorate degree and after serving in other administrative positions, she became the first black female president of Nashville State Community College. Her next goal is to close the equity gap particularly for students of color.

She addressed the crowd, “What are your hopes and dreams?”

“We have a responsibility to make a difference” “Own your power, the time is now.”

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie.