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Redwood SEED Scholars Featured in Employment First Committee Final Report 2022

Two Redwood SEED Scholars are pictured on the cover of the Employment First Committee Final Report 2022, prepared by the California State Council for Developmental Disabilities.  Jaylen Parks is pictured at his job on campus with the Student Disability Center and Kirra Troeger is pictured at her job working behind the scenes in tech set up at the Mondavi Center.

You can also read about the urgent need for inclusive college opportunities, like the Redwood SEED Scholars Program, for students with I/DD in California on pages 28-30 of the report.

Meet our Redwood SEED Scholars

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and we’re proud to highlight Redwood SEED Scholars who are student employees at the UC Davis Library: Kai Gardizi and Karis Chun.

Sowing Seeds of Independence, Friendship

In recognition of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, we’re highlighting Redwood SEED Scholar Karis Chun and her experiences working as a student employee at Shields Library.

Honoring our Neurodiversity

Have you heard the term neurodiversity yet? It’s the idea that people experience the world differently and that neurological differences are not deficits. It embraces inclusion, respect and the value of all people.

‘You’re different because you have a voice’: New class of Redwood SEED Scholars joins UC Davis

The number of students at UC Davis with an intellectual disability has more than doubled, thanks to the inclusive Redwood SEED Scholars program. Twenty-one scholars – 12 freshmen and nine sophomores – now call the campus home. They will spend four years on campus living in dorms, taking classes and completing internships and jobs as they work toward a practical credential rather than a degree.

The UC Davis Redwood SEED Scholars Program is now a Living Learning Community!

Living-Learning Communities and Shared-Interest Communities are communities within the residence halls that provide an opportunity for students with similar interests to live in the same hall or on the same floor. The communities allow students to enjoy unique activities, as well as more traditional social and recreational opportunities.

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Successful first year for UC Davis program for students with intellectual disabilities

It’s been a year of firsts for the 10 UC Davis Redwood SEED Scholars.

The first time living away from home. The first time navigating their way around a college campus to attend classes. Their first internships or jobs. And for some, a first in terms of friendship.

“This is my first time actually having friends with disabilities before, so it feels good. I’m just happy that I have friends like this in my life now,” said scholar Olivia Adams-Falconer, who had dreamed of studying at UC Davis ever since her older brother attended the school a number of years ago.

UC Davis Top Graduating Senior is an Academic Mentor for Redwood SEED Scholars

Senior Amanda Portier of the University of California, Davis, led the team of hundreds that put on this year’s Picnic Day — attended by tens of thousands of people and believed to be the largest student-run event in the country. She also has been a mentor to individuals with intellectual disabilities, shed light on social justice issues and achieved a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average.

UC Davis program for students with intellectual disabilities completes first quarter

The UC Davis Redwood SEED (Supported Education to Elevate Diversity) Scholars Program is the first four-year inclusive college program with a residential area for students with intellectual disabilities in California. Beth Foraker, an instructor for the School of Education, and Leonard Abbeduto, the director of the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND) Institute, are co-directors of the program. 

UC Davis Introduces the Redwood SEED Scholars

When Ryan Fitch moved into his dormitory at UC Davis last fall, he had to leave his drum set at home in Santa Barbara. 

“We figured that was a little too much for the dorms,” laughed Melissa Fitch, Ryan’s mom, as family members unloaded a refrigerator, boxes of clothing, and family photos to display in his new room.