USA (MNN) — On August 4, Brian Meyers began his first day of classes at Shepherds College, on the campus of Shepherds Ministries in Union Grove, WI.
"It was really hard. It
was good, and hard," Brian said. "We have
really good classes here, but they're really challenging."
August 4 was also the first day of classes ever held at Shepherds College.
One characteristic makes it stand out from other schools — it serves
students like 19-year-old Brian, who have a primary diagnosis of Intellectual
"It's a wonderful, wonderful place," said Brian's
father, Dave Meyers. "Shepherds Ministry
I think is not only going to be able to help guide hearts, but to really give
hope to those with developmental disabilities, that they can be successful. They can be proud of an opportunity for them
to really serve and make a difference in the world and in their life, and Shepherds College is providing that forum for them
to do that."
On the first day of classes, Brian studied subjects like
computer skills, life skills, Bible school, personal development, and
chapel. He chose the horticulture track
of the program.
"I like plants because plants and I get along so well," Brian
said. "You get to dig holes, and
I love to dig."
The horticulture program prepares students for greenhouse
production, landscape maintenance, and garden center retail. Students will receive instruction in subjects
like floral design, nursery and garden operations, equipment maintenance, and
work safety precautions.
The first year of the three-year program will be spent
primarily in the classroom. During the
second year, students will continue to work in the classroom but will also
begin hands-on training. In the third year,
each student will be placed in an internship with a local employer, in addition
to a small amount of class work.
The Meyers serve at the training center for New Tribes
Missions in Missouri. Brian developed his interest in horticulture
through the ministry he has been able to have at the training center.
"He's got a nice John Deere Gator there," his father Dave
explained. "He serves down there on
landscaping and the grounds, and just serves the students and staff that way."
The Meyers were familiar with Shepherds Ministries because
Brian's Aunt Krista has been a resident there for many years. They learned about the new college about a
year ago, and Brian decided he was ready for more challenges. He really likes Shepherds College
and the people there.
"My aunt goes here, and there's so many cool people that I
met," Brian said. "Just yesterday I met
a lot of people, and it was really awesome."
His attendance at Shepherds was made possible by the support
of many Christians who have generously donated to cover the school's
"It's just been a wonderful, wonderful thing to see God's
people step forward and be a part of shaping, guiding and giving hope to
young people like Brian who are students here," Dave said.
Brian asked for prayer for himself and the teachers as they
get started with classes.
"These classes are not an easy way to go," he said. "They're tough and they're hard."
Despite the challenges, Brian is enthusiastic about the
college and wholeheartedly recommends it.
"It's an amazing place, and I think everybody should come
here and learn about stuff," he said.