Garrett, a UNH-4U student standing in front of and touching the UNH wildcat statue's nose for luck

Garrett, a UNH-4U student touching the UNH wildcat statue's nose for luck.

UNH-4U student Garrett Shows always wanted to attend the University of New Hampshire (UNH), and in 2021, he turned his dream into reality by participating in the first cohort of UNH-4U—an innovative 2-year inclusive higher education program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. Through the Institute on Disability’s UNH-4U program, Garrett, along with three additional students, began the program that combines traditional classroom time with inclusive housing options, peer mentoring, and academic coaching from same-age peers. “Deep down I always wanted to be here,” says Garrett. “I was meant to hang out with kids. I was meant to teach. Commitment is a huge, huge thing. Because when you commit to it, you have a certain fire in you that doesn’t go away.” 

In a recent short film titled Garrett Shows: UNH-4U Student created by OurAbility, we continue to follow Garrett’s journey through UNH-4U as he shares his bright light and positivity with fellow students while working towards a major in physical education. “Giving Garrett the opportunity to teach, it’s really giving the peers an opportunity to interact with someone with differing abilities,” says Lifetime Sports instructor Dr. Brandon Foye. “It provides an excellent opportunity for them as future physical education teachers to really think about what those interactions will look like. He’s a very regular peer to them. He’s a friend to them.” 

Watch the film