Alum seeks to give back to Student Access and Accommodation Services
College can be a challenging time for many students, offering numerous obstacles to overcome. This was certainly true for Trevis Worley ’12, who faced the typical stresses of a college student, along with being a nontraditional student and having a visual disability.
When Worley attended Illinois State, he was already married with four children. He recalls that it was very difficult to juggle his family responsibilities while attending the University full-time. It had also been a number of years since he had been enrolled in any academic courses, so it was an adjustment to return to school. Additionally, Worley has a visual impairment, which made it challenging for him to read textbooks. Thus, he turned to Student Access and Accommodation Services (SAAS), known as Disability Concerns at the time, for help. Throughout his time at Illinois State, Worley utilized such services as note takers, text to audio conversions, and private rooms to complete exams.
Reflecting on the assistance he received, Worley says, “Without using the services offered I am certain that I would not have been successful in completing my bachelor’s degree. I would have been so overwhelmed and discouraged that I would not have completed what I set out to accomplish.” He also credits the entire SAAS staff for his success. He explains, “they are there to help you be successful as a student and in life. I know that it is a team effort to ensure students with a disability stay focused and prepared.”
After the positive experiences he had as a student who utilized services from SAAS, Worley felt passionate about helping other students with disabilities. He became a mentor to a student with a similar visual disability through the Academic and Campus-Community Empowerment (A.C.E.) program, supported by SAAS. The A.C.E. program seeks to encourage and empower students with disabilities and/or medical and mental health conditions to achieve success in the academic, extracurricular, and social aspects of their Illinois State experience. Through mentorship and by encouraging involvement, students gain knowledge of leadership skills to become engaged participants in the campus community.
Worley not only encourages students with disabilities to become involved in the A.C.E. program, but also stresses the importance of simply seeking assistance. He shares, “Don’t hesitate to ask for help. We can all use someone to talk to about school, or just life.” For this reason, he also urges other students to take the time to help their peers by volunteering as note takers or mentors.
Now, Worley serves as an Infrastructure Analyst at Deer & Company (John Deere). He looks forward to giving back to Student Access and Accommodation Services to show his appreciation for everything that they did to support him during his time at Illinois State. Worley is currently pursuing volunteer and mentoring opportunities within the department, and is also interested in establishing a scholarship in the future.
“Without the help and hard work of the SAAS team I would not be where I am today. Their willingness to provide outstanding services allowed me to get a degree in a growing field where I have been very successful.”
Thank you, Trevis, for contributing your time, talent and treasure to the Division of Student Affairs!