Three freshmen at the University of Oklahoma are beginning internships as part of Sooner Works, the school’s program for intellectual disabilities.
In August, Peyton, Bo and Madison were accepted to OU as part of the first Sooner Works class. The four-year residential program is the first of its kind in central Oklahoma.
“I love doing internship,” Madison Mason said. “It means a lot.”
Mason is working in an office at the Zarrow Center.
“I love my job, and they involve me and they just help me out,” she said.
Peyton Dumas is working at the Sarkey’s fitness center on campus.
“I go and check on the machines, see how everything is,” he said. “I usually clean, make sure everything is running smoothly.”
Together, with another student Bo, the Sooner Works students are beginning their second semester at the university.
“The huge part of Sonner Works is to get our students meaningful, gainful employment in the community for which they live,” Kendra Williams Diehm said. “Across the four years, they participate in seven internships.”
“My parents are proud of me since I did my job, and they told me ‘congratulations,’ my family does and my high school friends,” Mason said.
While the goal of the program is to ensure students find a meaningful job after college, the three are just enjoying being college students for now.
Dumas is joining a fraternity, and two of the students went to Dallas for the OU-Texas football game.
For Mason, being an OU student is a dream come true.
“My wish just came true,” she said. “I really love the place.”
The program is hoping to add five to six additional students in the fall. The deadline to apply is Feb. 1.