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Cincinnati's TAP helps students with disabilities achieve their dreams

Brennan Eve and family
Posted at 10:43 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-11 11:29:59-05

CINCINNATI — Like the University of Cincinnati's well-known student athletes, Brennan Eve is all about determination and "fighting to the finish."

Every day, Eve goes to her dream job as a clerk at UC's Department of Public Safety. Her path to get there was not easy, but she did not do it alone. When she was young, Eve's parents wrote out their vision for their daughter.

"Our vision for Brennan is to dream big and give her opportunities to succeed," her parents wrote. "We will not limit Brennan by low expectations."

Eve has Down syndrome, which can bring medical issues, developmental delays and perception hurdles. Still, she did not let it stop her.

"To Brennan it was not an obstacle," her father, Brian Eve, said. "It was who she is, what she is and how she is."

Eve's parents said all she wanted to do was be like her older sisters. They went to college, and that is exactly what Eve wanted for herself.

When doubt crept in, she kept moving forward.

"As a teenager, sometimes I was a little worried about my future," Eve said.

But she said she persevered, and found a future in TAP, Cincinnati's Transition and Access Program. The four-year, post-secondary certificate for students with a range of disabilities offers specialized courses, campus life, internships and more with an end goal of employment.

"Brennan is a hard worker," said Diane Weinbrand with TAP. "She's a valuable employee. I'm glad we were able to help her develop the skills necessary for that."

Clerical work was Eve's love, and her full-time position evolved out of her internship with the department.

"She did a great job," said Dawn Moore, public safety training consultant. "She did everything we asked for, and her productivity was amazing."

In addition to her work, Eve brought her personality to the position. She writes her jokes of the day on a dry erase board where, as a student, she would once write words from the university's fight song.

"You can fight for the finish," Eve said. "Because when I was here one of my parents wrote down on my dry erase board, 'Fight for the finish.'"

Her parents said they hope Eve encourages parents and their children with disabilities.

"They can have goals," Brian Eve said. "They can have aspirations and they can achieve them."

Eve said she proves her passion every day, and wants her friends to do the same. Meanwhile, her parents are proud of the woman she has become.

"I can see the pride," mother Theresa Eve said. "Yeah, I'm really proud of her."

Across the country, there are about 300 programs like TAP giving students with a range of disabilities independence through support, education and employment. UC was one of the first to adopt a living, learning model where students live on campus.

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