Bud Sugg- Circle Event

26. March 2013 13:28

The circle event that I did included me and four other Ambassadores. We went to Strikes & Spares Bowling Alley. It was fun. Circle events are events that make students and their students have free time aside from all the work they have to go through. It’s a nice break for everyone. It’s a very unique thing that they do and always something that I look forward to every time I meet with my Ambassadores.

At Strikes & Spares we played two games of bowling. The two scores I got were an 83 and a 95. Of course, when I played, I was usually 3rd or 4th place. I went up against some really good bowlers! Mark and Ajan always share jokes together. They’re very funny. Linda and Chelsea are nice to be around.

If I had to pick my favorite part, it would be hanging out with my Ambassadores, sharing a few laughs, and bowling. Mark ordered some French Fries with Nacho Cheese and Ketchup... It wasn’t very good. I’m glad I got dinner before I went to bowling!

We had a little bit of trouble staying together while driving. I was able to figure it out on my own. I looked for her car and made sure to follow. I made sure to drive on roads that I was familiar with and find landmarks that I knew about.

I’m hoping to get a second circle event on a Friday night so we can go do karaoke. Every Friday night I do karaoke. It’s one of those deals where you can go and hang out as long as you want. I love karaoke because I love singing. It’s fun and I get to hang out with a lot of cool people. I usually go with some people I know from work at Sonic. And the food there is really good! 




Will- Spring Break!

21. March 2013 12:50

As a senior, I get to experience a whole lot of new things. One of which is how Matt, Carrie, and I went to New Orleans for the Best Buddies Spring Break.

The drive there was fun because I got to watch some of my movies, like Battleship and Finding Nemo. Matt and Carrie are awesome to hang out with. I’ve known both of them for a long time and I’m glad we’re friends. They are some of the best friends I’ve ever had. No matter where we go, we’ll always have a lot going on. 

The things we saw were amazing. The aquarium was my favorite. We also looked at some buildings that were destroyed by Katrina. Katrina was one of the worst tragedies that happened to New Orleans. It was hard to see the buildings, but it reminded me of what happened to us here in Nashville during the flood.

While we were there, we helped a church that my sister is involved in. We helped the kids out by cooking and building bookshelves, but I like cooking more! I cooked quiche and chicken potpie. I think the kids really liked it, especially the quiche, which I was excited about. The kids we were helping go to different schools. They church is trying to expand their program to a bigger house.

I got to hang out with all of the Best Buddies, and see my brother and sister again! I’m glad I got to see them because it’s been awhile. I had a really good time. With the Best Buddies I watched movies, hung out, got to know one another. Sometimes we got lost, but it was ok! While we were at the aquarium, we saw an orange fish, and we joked that we found Nemo!

Coming back was hard because it was so cold here in Nashville! I can’t wait to go back again. It may be awhile, but I know that I’ll go back no matter what. 



Matt Moore: Next Steps Classes

14. January 2013 14:54

            This semester I like my Next Steps classes. I’m in Career Technology, Independent Living, and Self-Awareness.

            In Career Tech, I learn about applications for finding jobs. I also made a resume in class. I put on my resume information about my internships, summer camps, my Vanderbilt classes, and references. All of this also goes on my ePortfolio. An ePortolio includes skills and tasks, volunteering, my biography, and contact information.

            In Independent Living we learn about budgets and saving money. It’s important to keep money in the bank. I do a budget myself with my pay. We also learn about the difference in income and expense which is money in and money out.

            In Self-Awareness we learn about dreams and goals. Making goals is important because it helps decide the activities you will do. My goal this semester is to learn to use Facebook (log on, add new friends, write on my wall, etc.)

            I like my Next Steps classes this semester because they challenge me to learn. I’m still learning in the class. By the end of the semester, I hope to learn more about jobs, careers, and my own strengths and weaknesses. I really like this program. This program changed my life as a student.




Bud Sugg: Meeting with Ambassadores

8. January 2013 09:25

            I think the Ambassadores help you in a variety of different ways. For example, my tutors Kaleigh and Will help me with my classes. I just got done with a book review called “Flat Land”. If you’ve ever read it before, it’s very confusing to understand. The guy that really helped me come up with sentences and how to show that I read the book was Will, my tutor. Without his help, I don’t think I would have had anywhere near as good a paper as the one I finished with. Will was not assigned to read “Flat Land.” And just for me, he read the book. Just so he could help me.

            Chelsea and Megan are my two daily planners. They help me write journals and they make sure I have all of my homework assignments in my planner. They also help with grammatical errors on my food log or on my journal entries.

The one thing that all of my workout buddies have is that they push me hard and I feel afterwards that I’ve given a good workout. I have Alexis, Nishant, and Lauren. The hardest one by far is Alexis. I do, on average, 30 min. on an elliptical machine on level 10. I also do ab workouts by doing 100 sit-ups with medicine balls, side crunches, and planks. The workout buddies make sure you get stronger.

My lunch buddies are Ali, Fallon, and Chelsea. All of them are really nice. They’re always willing to listen to me. They go where I want to go eat. They’re so friendly. I get good lunch time with them. They fit the description.

            I think all of my Ambassadores are very friendly and they truly care about me. They want you to succeed as much as you want to succeed. They care just as much about you succeeding as you care about yourself succeeding. I think the fact that they help means the most.  


Danny Viteri: My VU Class

26. November 2012 12:14

     I’m taking a film class. In film class I watch a movie and then I look at sounds, camera position. Then I listen to the teacher and talk about what I learned from the movie. She answers questions about the movie. I like the teacher because she is so nice and friendly. I give my homework to her and she checks it for me. Later, she is happy when she gives it back.

     I watch the movies and one of them is called Conversation. We’re learning about sounds, and how to pay attention to each of them: crashing, banging, music. I learn about the plot of the movie, what the character is doing, what’s in the background, what sounds are doing. It’s pretty fun to learn about it once you get the hang of it. After learning about film stuff, it’s easier to notice it later in other movies.

     Sometimes it’s not easy. We have to figure out what to watch next. We have to read the film class book to know about what we’re supposed to remember. You have to do this to prepare for the next film. There’s a lot of responsibility. If you forget or miss a movie, then you have to pay attention to the teacher and listen.

     My favorite thing about the class is watching movies because it’s very fun. It’s really exciting waiting to see what happens next. 



Evan Slayton- Food Forays

12. November 2012 10:06

            It’s where you go in and cook food. We do this every Friday. We sometimes cook pizza or spaghetti. My favorite thing to cook is pasta because I like it so much. We split up and go to a dorm or to the apartment.

            Before cooking we had a cooking safety lesson back during the Next Steps Summer Institute. It’s important to wear gloves while cooking. You have to watch the oven and stove to see if it’s hot or not hot.

We get the food ahead of time at the grocery store. We have a budget so we spend a certain amount of money. It keeps us from spending a ton of money.

            I like cooking. I even cook outside of the Food Forays, at home. I cook with someone else like my family. I know about the pizza and the pasta now so I cook it for my family. The food forays are important because you cook a lot of food and it teaches you to have good life skills. 



Daniel Bautista: My Internship

5. November 2012 10:37

            I work in the Munchie Mart at Branscomb. I work in Branscomb on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  It’s really good. They have the food items, school objects, and everything else. They have a freezer and kitchen.

The first day went really well. They taught me how everything goes. It was pretty easy. I’ve had other jobs in the past, so this wasn’t my first. I like it better than other jobs I’ve had. After work, they let me have free food and free drinks.

My main job is being a stocker. I stock all the items to the right shelf and the right spot. Not just that, but sometimes I take out the trash, we bring in different objects, and we even get objects in and out of the freezer. It was really cold in there! It felt like an ice cave. Working in the freezer is my favorite part of my job.

I got to meet the boss and the manager. I also meet new people, such as Norwood, Carla, Ashley, and others. Those guys from my internship, they may be my employees, but they are also my friends.



Will McMillan: Voter Registration Class

29. October 2012 10:09

            The voter registration class was for people who hadn’t voted yet. I registered to vote. I started voting and now I get to vote in the election in November. That’s the biggest election I’ve voted in. I’ll also vote for Vice President probably as well.

            I’m in Political Science right now. It’s called “Presidential Politics in History.” For people taking history, it’s to learn about the debates that happened back in time and how competitive they can get. The competitiveness is stronger than it used to be. There are a lot of political ads that could hurt the other party. It’s all about who is the stronger leader.

            Voting is one of the most historical things. Some people support people with disabilities and some don’t. Some people aren’t familiar with people with disabilities voting. But we have a right to be a part of the community and to have our voice heard.

            Voting is definitely one of the most important things to do as an American. Your vote counts for either side. Once you vote, there is no turning back. I would tell people who hadn’t voted before to ask questions, get help, have fun, and vote for the right person. Make sure to think about why you chose him!



Ryan Pittman: Coming to Vanderbilt

22. October 2012 10:45

My father gave me a Next Steps video. And I said, “Pick me! I want to go to Next Steps.” Now I’m making food and cooking. I’m walking around and I’m really busy. I have stuff to do, getting homework done, and finishing everything for the whole week. I have to get moving in the morning so I can get ready for breakfast and go to Commons for classes and Ambassadores. I’m living on my own, and it’s a little bit hard because sometimes I get stressed. But I have Josh and Justin to help me. We are a family together. We eat dinner together, go to pizza places, have fun, and go to Best Buddies events.

I go to bible club called RUF. I also go to Fellowship Church with my parents. We’re going to Peru this Christmas on a mission trip. I also do Food Forays with the whole Next Steps group at the apartments where I live. We play sports when we’re together like basketball, tennis, football, swimming, hockey, and Frisbee.

I’m glad I came to Next Steps because I’ve met a whole lot of people. It makes me happy that somebody is there for me. 


Meet Our Students: Edward Nesbitt

30. November 2011 11:00

I’m so excited about graduation day. It’s going to be really special for the 6 of us. I’m ready to move on and go into the grown up world and be someone. I’ll always remember all the moments I had on this campus forever. They have been so good. It’s been a great experience. I’ve been here every day. It’s a great place. Finally, I am excited to be on my own and be capable of applying for jobs. I might look for a technology and business field job. One day I hope to have my own place that’s not too expensive that I’ll pay for my own mortgage and payments. And one day have a wife and kids and teach them the experiences I had at school. After I graduate I still want to be in Best Buddies and have fun on my own.




About Next Steps

Next Steps at Vanderbilt is a 2-year certification program for students with intellectual disabilities, providing individualized Programs of Study in the areas of education, social skills, and vocational training.

Welcome to our blog!

Blog is updated and maintained by Kelly Wendel, Program Coordinator.

Learn more about the VKC

Month List