Shelby BatesSecondary Special Education

What year did you graduate?

What was your favorite part about your time at UNL?
I was connected with faculty members who truly invested in my interests. Through these connections, I had a wide range of opportunities that I cherish. I became employed in the Center for Civic Engagement, which really brought out my love for community level work. Thanks to a special education faculty member, I had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad. Having experiences customized to my interests made Lincoln a special place for me.

What career did you pursue after you graduated?
I went to graduate school for social work. I now work as an outreach coordinator for a nonprofit that advocates for access to higher education for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

What kind of impact did UNL have on your career? OR How did you use the start UNL gave you?
During my time at UNL, I realized standard classroom teaching was not my passion. I struggled throughout college to find the best fit for me. Having faculty who allowed me to push my boundaries and engage in various discussions about outcomes for students guided me to a career in social work. Without my connections at Nebraska, I'm not sure I would have found the career I truly love.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give to current and upcoming students?
When a professor offers to take you to breakfast, say yes and show up; it might change your entire trajectory.

Read More N150 Alumni Stories