OU Sooner Works Inaugural Class Enters Senior Year

Monday, September 26th 2022, 10:14 am


For more than three years now, News 9 has followed a unique program for students with intellectual disabilities at the University of Oklahoma.

From the program’s first acceptance letters, to the first week of freshman year, and navigating virtual learning through COVID-19, the inaugural class of three Sooner Works students are now in their senior year.

“We started with three students in the fall of 2019,” program director Dr. Kendra Williams-Diehm said, “We have grown tremendously over the last three years with now 25 students.”

For his senior internship Bo Cochran has become the pride behind the Pride of Oklahoma, helping on the logistics team. Bo helps setts up for practice and provides on field behind the scenes support on gamedays.

“I’m just super proud of Bo,” OU Director of Athletic Bands Brian Britt said. “I could take a whole lot more just like him he’s a fantastic young man really glad to have him on our team.”

The goal of Sooner Works is to give students with intellectual and developmental disabilities a college experience in a certificate program with the ultimate goal of meaningful employment after graduation.

As the number of Sooner Works students has grown the past three years, so has the number of traditional students walking alongside them.

“We have grown from just one peer partner from the initial program to right now we have almost 100 peer partners across the whole program, each student at sooner works has approximately 3 to 4 different peer partners that they can rely on each week,” Willaims-Diehm said.

Bo and fellow Sooner Works seniors Madison and Peyton are set to graduate in May of 2023.


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