Scholars with Diverse Abilities Program

Many Appalachian students benefit from having peers with intellectual challenges on campus

The Scholars with Diverse Abilities Program (SDAP) is a grant-funded program that provides students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities – known as SDAP Scholars – access to a two-year, inclusive college educational experience at Appalachian State University.

There are five SDAP Scholars on campus in spring 2017, and they are supported in class and in social and recreational activities by more than 60 fellow Appalachian student volunteers. They are also assisted by four graduate assistants, two interns, two tutors and seven special fellows, plus members of a student club called Appvocates.

Sophomore Alex Trejo-Sanchez, a special education major from Lincolnton, has been volunteering for almost two years, mentoring SDAP Scholars and letting them know he is “someone they can depend on.” The experience has “taught me how to be a good communicator, how to be well organized and a reliable person,” he said.

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