We wanted to give a big shout-out to the TOPS students, volunteers, and staff who went on the Buck-I-SERV trip two weeks ago. They spent their Spring Break serving the community at the Association House of Chicago. Way to go!
If you have long hair and struggle to put it up (ponytail or otherwise) for physical or cognitive reasons, please consider taking this survey.
The survey “is designed to gain insight into some of the daily grooming tasks you may have trouble or require assistance with.”
The completion date is March 31st.
Today is the Ohio State Day of Giving 2019! We are so grateful to be a part of the Ohio State community and are always amazed by the impact students, alumni, and other Buckeyes make.
If you would like to contribute to the TOPS Fund, you can visit give.osu.edu and use the following fund number: #313451.
This week’s Volunteer Spotlight is Ashlee, who has been volunteering with TOPS for 4 semesters as an educational coach, academic tutor, and social coach. Ashlee learned about TOPS through her Scholars program on campus, and chose to apply because it “was a great opportunity to help [her] fellow Buckeyes grow and learn.” Her favorite aspect of volunteering with TOPS “is getting to learn and hang out with all the TOPS students, and seeing projects and soft skills we have worked on together become part of their skill set!”
Ashlee has presented about her experiences as a volunteer at the State of the Art Conference with TOPS students and staff. She expressed, “volunteering with TOPS has taught me patience and creativity working to solve problems and think of ideas with students.”
Ashlee is studying Biomedical Science and is graduating in May. She is also “a sister of Chi Omega, as well as a research assistant in a Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy clinic.” She loves being a student at Ohio State because there is a “comradery that automatically exists between you and every other student on campus.”
If she could tell students thinking about volunteering one thing, she would say “TOPS is an amazing program that has helped me professionally and personally grow and gave me an excuse to schedule in something fun every week.”
Ashlee, thank you for the time and dedication you put into TOPS. You rock!
Don’t forget to register for the Bucks for TOPS 5k! After Sunday, March 10th, the price of registration will increase from $15 to $20.
On Wednesday, March 20th, Bucks for TOPS is holding a fundraiser at Blaze Pizza (1701 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43201) from 6-9 pm. Bucks for TOPS is an Ohio State student organization that raises money for TOPS scholarships and program funding. Bring the flyer below, enjoy some pizza, and support our students!
Interested in learning more about the employment of individuals with disabilities in Ohio? Consider listening to the radio program below, All Sides with Ann Fisher: Disability Employment.
Click on this link and press “Listen” to access the radio segment.
Our Volunteer Spotlight this week is Michelle, who has been volunteering with us for 5 semesters now! She learned about the TOPS Program from someone in her residence hall. “My first year at OSU I was struggling to find involvement in something that felt meaningful to me, that resonated with myself and the community and the things that I want to do in my life, and I feel like I was finally able to find that at TOPS,” she explained.
When asked how her time with TOPS has impacted her, she said:
One thing that TOPS really brought to my attention is the struggles that people with disabilities face because of society, not because of their disability. I’ve been able to really understand what inclusion means through this program and how I can incorporate that into my future and my career goals. I’m hoping that as a physician, I can help those who might need a voice and be an advocate for them. TOPS reminds me each day how much every person matters and should be valued because of who they are and not the obstacles that they face, and I am excited to be able to transition this viewpoint into medicine and research.
Her favorite memory with the program is the OSU Spring Concert last semester, where there was lots of dancing and even a friendly rap battle between her boyfriend and a student! Michelle has really enjoyed making connections with many different students. She encourages others to also volunteer with TOPS, saying:
I’ve actually been telling people about TOPS for the past few semesters because I think the program can really be transformational for many students. Each time, I always share little anecdotes about something that I did with a TOPS student recently to show how personalized the experience is. Your interactions and experiences with the students, volunteers, and the staff is what makes this opportunity unique, and I think that portraying that to new volunteers is a great way to let them see what the program is really about.
Michelle has spent most of her time with TOPS serving as a social coach, but recently starting educational coaching. Outside of TOPS, she is pursuing a dual-degree in Biochemistry and Environmental Public Health. She is also a Resident Advisor, works at the Student Wellness Center, and is involved on-campus in several other capacities. Her favorite spot in Columbus is the North Market, where she enjoys “having fried chicken, donuts, and Jeni’s ice cream.”
The TOPS Staff want to recognize Michelle for her passion for and dedication to the TOPS Program. Keep up the great work, Michelle!