Student Spotlight-Meet John

John is a 1st year student enrolled in the 4 year TOPS program. 

He is really interested in becoming a first responder.

He currently works as an information desk intern at McCampbell Hall where he screens people in, gives them masks, and greets them. His favorite part about his job is that he gets to talk with people from all different backgrounds and brighten their day.

John is part of the first class of TOPS students to live on campus. He really likes living on campus and it has taught him to always be aware of his surroundings and to gain independent living skills.

His favorite class he’s taken so far is Intro to Criminal Justice and he’s enjoyed learning a lot about different histories of court cases and the criminal justice system.

He likes OSU and the TOPS program because it’s a very diverse atmosphere where he gets to meet a wide variety of people. He loves meeting people from different cultures and getting to experience new things

He likes to journal a lot and listen to music (specifically country and broadway) in his free time.

He’s a second generation buckeye and he was born in Kien Giang, Vietnam!

John on the right with fellow first year student and roommate Quinn.

TOPS Social Event: Pixar Trivia Night at Ten Pin Alley in Hilliard, OH

Last Tuesday on March 30th, TOPS students Zach, Timmy, Finn, Griffin, Matthew, and Dylan participated in Pixar Trivia night at Ten Pin Alley. Ten Pin Alley is an entertainment center in Hilliard complete with bowling, laser tag, and arcade games. Mentors Allie and James, and ed coach Jacob attended the event as well. Some of the students also played some arcade games along with participating in trivia.

Zach Watts was one of the TOPS student planners who helped plan the event with mentor Ally Tefft. Some of the students ordered food, and some just came for the trivia. A good time was had by all and the event was definitely a success!

Thank you to students Zach Watts and mentors Ally and James for helping plan the event!

Here are some photos:

TOPS student Dylan with mentor James

Students and mentors having a good time!

TOPS student Griffin winning a prize from the arcade!

Alumni Spotlight: Meet Natalie

Natalie Davis is an alumni of the TOPS program at the Ohio State University, and graduated in 2018.

Since graduating, she has worked at Barks and Rec which is a business in Columbus that provides doggy daycare, boarding, and washing for man’s best friend. Barks and Rec is committed to creating positive social change within the community and providing employment opportunities to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Natalie’s job duties consist of playing with the dogs, cleaning up after them, and cleaning/bathing them.

A fun fact about Natalie is that she loves to horseback ride for fun!

TOPS Employer Testimonial-BistrOH!

  • Nutrition Services runs the food service operations at the Wexner Medical Center, both retail food service and patient food service as well as clinical nutrition.
  • We have hired 3 Tops student, 2 of them currently still work for us and we have had numerous interns as well.
  • Food service is historically a business that has always had a labor shortage so having TOPS students successfully fill some positions has been a huge value for Nutrition Services.  There are so many different jobs to do in our large operation which makes it is easy for us to find a fit for many TOPS students.  Also, TOPS students have always fit in very well with our team as the other staff members take pride in mentoring them and growing their skill sets to be successful.
  • Paul Kim first came to us as an unpaid TOPS intern, now he is a full time employee and one of our most consistent and reliable team members.  Paul began his internship cleaning tables and stocking condiments but he quickly felt comfortable doing more things.  Now he works in the kitchen assisting the chefs doing all kinds of kitchen prep work including cooking pizza and hot subs.  Paul’s eagerness to learn more tasks and do more has exceeded our expectations.
  • I would tell other employers that I also was unsure about hiring people with disabilities as I had no experience with it and that is understandable.  However, the TOPS program provides so much support you don’t need to have experience and you don’t need to be unsure.  The TOPS program provides on-site trainers, they help with anything and everything including paperwork, schedules….whatever needs to be done.  Helping people with disabilities succeed, learn new skills, and become independent is very rewarding on a personal level as well as good business.

-Chris Basmagy (Assistant Director, Hospital Nutrition Service)

TOPS student Paul Kim making a pizza

TOPS student Timmy Clary preparing bacon