G.O.A.L. (Go on and Learn) student, Isabelle Woloson shares the successes and challenges as a UNC Bear.
My name is Isabelle Woloson. I am going to be junior at the University of Northern Colorado in UNC's G.O.A.L. program.
What inspired you to continue going to school?
I felt like after high school, I wanted to do something more after high school. I learned basic things like math and stuff but I felt like I wanted to do more with after high school. I wanted to have four years of a community where I could be more involved and feel more inclusive and now I am! And I feel really, really blessed with that. I really like the G.O.A.L. Program. I really feel like I'm really included and doing social things with them.
It was mentioned that you are one of the first students in the G.O.A.L. Program. Can you tell me a little bit about the history? For instance, we mentioned how the governor signed a bill. Do you want to share that story?
Sure. So, Governor Hickenlooper signed the Bill 19-196. The Bill 19-196 was for people with intellectual disabilities to go to school here in the state of Colorado. And there were a couple parents, who some of them are my friends, who were part of the IN Initiative and started the foundation.
And I was told that you were at the signing?
Yes, I was.
What was that like?
I thought it was, was really, really cool when he signed it. I felt like I wanted to do more with it and I'm really excited that he signed it because if that didn't happen, I would have gone to college somewhere else out of state.
And since you're at UNC, can you share some of your experiences?
Yes. I just finished my first year of, the UNC club swim team and that was really fun.
What sort of classes have you taken?
I've taken public speaking. I've been taking acting classes. I've been taking human service classes and health care classes as well.
Out of those, which one has been your favorite?
Health care classes?
I feel like I wanted to build a career around that and I feel really passionate about it.
What sort of aspects in that class made you feel passionate?
Just the aspects of just learning the responsibilities of what it takes to be a health care provider and what it takes to learn more about health care because there are lots of things to do with healthcare to as couple of years in the political side, and I feel like I want to learn more about it because I feel like if I can maybe do something with that as a career.
that's a very strong passion to have and I feel like you can advocate well for that.
Outside of classes, what have you learned from UNC?
I learned that there is more to the classes that meets the eye. I really like the diverse community with the classes. I like being involved with other people. Like, when you go into class and you see other people around and they're talking before class, it's good to communicate with them because that's how you build a good friendship around there.
Yeah. So communicating with fellow peers in your classes beforehand or after class.
What sort of fun memories sticks out to you from UNC?
Doing personal training at the rec center.
Would you like to elaborate?
I'm really working out there, and I personally like learning how to lose weight. It's definitely something that people should learn when they are freshmen. Especially when they gain weight their first year. You can have your personal trainer and you have that community where you can lose the weight and get stronger.
Yeah. Have you heard of the freshmen 15?
I had the freshman 20.
I had the freshman 30.
As someone with a disability, what have some of the challenges has been going to a university?
Well, I gained about 30 pounds my freshman year and I started to feel like I regretted it (going to school). And I didn't really do the best because they had different options at UNC, that I didn't have when I was in high school. And it was a little bit of a challenge for me. Especially being on a diet and knowing when to stop. I didn't really have that kind of opinion in my mind about what it's like to stop and how to say no to those things.
So knowing your limits.
yeah. Know your limits, but it takes to losing that weight and gaining that weight.
And as part of the G.O.A.L. Program, you stay in the dorms, correct?
Yes I do.
What, what's it like living on the dorms on campus?
I really liked the community. I really talking to the RA's and the talk to the people who live in the dorms. Some of my other friends live in the dorms and I talking to them and hanging out with them rather than staying in my room and watching TV everyday.
Do you feel included at UNC?
Yeah, I really do feel included. I like going to Christian groups and that really opens my eye - To be more included in inclusive. Some of my friends who are in a Christian group, a women's Christian group, they meet a couple of times throughout the week. And I really like it and I have good friends around there and good community like that. And I like that a lot.
If you had a message for other students across Colorado with disabilities, what would you want to tell them if they were considering going to school or not?
Well, it's definitely an option for them because normally after you graduate from high school, they say going into higher education or doing something with it, like a job or career. If they wanted to have the career with that and one to learn what it takes to have that kind of career, then maybe they would have that option by going to college and to learn more about it so they can feel like they're learning a lot in that career.
Transcription has been edited for concision and clarity.
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