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Colorado Mesa University and STRiVE Partnership expands to bring life to shared values

Colorado Mesa University has taken a significant step towards animating its newly adopted values-first strategic plan by partnering with STRiVE on an innovative collaboration focused on people. STRiVE, an organization dedicated to empowering those with developmental disabilities, has individuals in their program now working on campus alongside CMU's facilities and grounds crew. This effort has added to the university’s beauty, resulting in a cleaner, more immaculate campus while extending dignity and a sense of purpose to those in the broader community.

The CMU grounds crew works closely throughout the week with four to six STRiVE members and a staff supervisor. They do various tasks involving landscape maintenance, waste management and gardening.

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“The CMU STRiVE partnership has been transformational for the individuals served by STRiVE. This opportunity is not only offering meaningful employment, but it is helping create an opportunity to build self-esteem, a strong sense of pride and belonging. The CMU community has welcomed our team with open arms and for that we are grateful!” said STRiVE President and CEO Grant Jackson.

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To celebrate the joint effort, CMU President John Marshall and the CMU leadership team came together with Jackson, the STRiVE staff and the people they serve to acknowledge the positive impact this collaboration has had on the university and the individuals involved.

"CMU is a place where everyone is welcome, a place where each individual has value. As a Human Scale University, we’re building a model of the world we want to create. Our partnership with STRiVE allows us to further that mission by providing meaningful opportunities for people with developmental disabilities who contribute to the betterment of our community," said President John Marshall.

By creating an environment with a strong sense of belonging and where people are valued, CMU and STRiVE are setting an example of what can be achieved when different groups come together with a shared goal of enhancing the community.

According to Kevin O’Donnell, STRiVE’s grounds crew leader, the crew is learning teamwork, professionalism and timeliness. The two organizations hope to soon expand the partnership into other areas, including housekeeping.

 

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Written by Kelsey Coleman

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