Gratitude: Tigers, Dawgs unite for local student

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Written by April Halverson Special Education Teacher at OHS

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the AU athletic department and specifically Jeff Steele and Howard “Hawk” Manley for helping us manage a difficult situation last spring.

We had a student placed on a job who was nearing his hours that were required for him to graduate. Well, as in the case with a lot of young workers, he didn’t quite understand which of the directions he had been given were hard and fast rules and which were to be discretionary. He lost his job over a decision he made that probably should not have been left up to him to make.

I called the Auburn University Athletic Department looking for some help as the job he had lost was an on-campus position with a private, non university company. Steele understood the situation and graciously agreed to help provide a position within the athletic department for this young man in order for him to fulfill his graduation requirements.

Our student absolutely loved his job at Auburn and as a result will be a devoted fan of all of Auburn’s athletic teams for the rest of his life.

My husband and I have seen this student at a few football games this fall, something he would never have tried to do had it not been for the love of Auburn fostered by his work experience and the kindness of Steele and Manley, as well as the Auburn University athletic department.

We hear so much about the Auburn family and being “all in,” well, it’s so good to know that those aren’t just words associated with winning football games and national championships, but that the Auburn family extends a hand to community members in need regardless of age, address, or ability.

The Auburn University Athletic Department has created a new lifelong fan and made a couple of older ones continue to believe in Auburn … and love it even more.

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