TechieForLife T-shirt design contest! Deadline extended!

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Put your creative juices to work by helping us in our design contest because we need new t-shirts.

Submissions will be voted on anonymously and a $25 gift card will be awarded to the person with the winning design.

Anyone can enter! Entry due date has been extended to October 9th.

Submit your entry to Debbie Grygla at debbie@techieforlife.com.

Tech Coach Joseph Cowdell

Welcome Tech Coach Joseph Cowdell!

TechieForLife welcomes our new tech coach.

Joseph Cowdell was born in Salt Lake City and raised in Sandy, Utah.

He moved to St. George nearly 20 years ago and hasn’t missed shoveling snow at all.

He has been married 16 years and has three beautiful children.

He recently completed his Bachelor of Science degree at Dixie State University in CIT with Web Design and Development emphasis and a Computer Science minor.

He loves photography and going on adventures with his family.

Welcome to the TFL family Joe!

Autism Symposium Presentation

Our director, Jason Grygla, presented at the 5th annual Autism Symposium held earlier this week in Park City, UT.

The Autism Symposium was created to bring more awareness to the increasing need of services for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and to facilitate conversations on the most pertinent topics regarding these students and their families.

This symposium highlights top notch treatment approaches and provides insights that continue to aid professionals that serve this population.

Jason’s presentation on “Trends and Initiatives in Transitioning Higher Functioning Autists Into Financial Self-Reliance and Independence” was well received by those in attendance. 

Jason present at symposium

River Rafting with Our Techie For Life Students

In August, we took a trip to the Colorado River around Moab on a river rafting trip.

During the day, we would row down the river and then return to camp by evening.

Jason brought his wife and girls over, so it was like having extended family over.

We spent our time on the river on “duckies” and rafts moving lazily along interspersed with light rapids.

Some of us decided to swim along as well.

After a few hours on the river, we would return to camp where we would have dinner and hang around the campsite.

This was a nice, intimate experience where we got to know each other better.

Overall, everyone had fun on the trip, and we may do it again in the future. — Dylan, TFL student

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Volunteering-

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

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On Wednesday the 23rd of August we went and volunteered at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab.

There after a brief orientation we went up to Angel’s Rest where one of their pet cemetery is located.

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Best Friends in Kanab has over 6,000 buried animals with named grave markers.

People who’s pets have been buried there leave pebbles on the grave stones signifying a visitation to the pets grave.

Sometimes they leave specific trinkets for deceased animals.

When we were there at Angel’s Rest we helped pick weeds around the graves and replace any pebbles or items that might have been pushed off of the markers by weather.

While we were still up at Angel’s Rest we went to see a tree that had been recently struck by lightning and paid a visited to the Labyrinth which was a formation of stones setup to create a maze.

We would’ve gone through the maze but it was time for lunch.

We decided to go back into Kanab to grab something to eat.

Once we were back from Kanab we went and watched an orientation video about the sanctuaries pigs, goats and horses.

We then traveled over to Piggy Paradise where we took a short break to pet the pigs.

After the break we were tasked with picking weeds along the path in front of the pigs enclosure.

After finishing that task it was time to travel over to the goat enclosure to meet the sanctuaries goats.

When we were done visiting with the goats it was time to leave for St. George.

One thing I learned on this trip was that the sanctuary has over 1,600 pet profiles on their website just for animals available for adoption at the Kanab Rescue.

Around 85 percent of the animals at the Kanab Rescue are currently available for adoption. – Windham, TFL student

best friends

Solar Eclipse

Eclipse

The total solar eclipse of Monday, August 21, 2017, was the first seen in the continental United States in 38 years. While one might think that a partial eclipse, with perhaps 99 percent of the Sun covered, would be 99 percent as good, that just isn’t how light works. One hundredth, or even a thousandth, of the Sun’s light is still broad daylight – only by travelling to the path of totality can one see the Solar corona appear as the sky darkens and stars come out during the day.

Dylan and I were the only two students at Techie-for-Life to make the trip to see the total eclipse. As the Moon passes in front of the Sun, its shadow traces a path of totality on the Earth’s surface from west to east; this time the path made landfall in Oregon and traced its way through fourteen states until it again took to sea from the Atlantic coast of South Carolina. The two of us planned our trip to Rexburg, Idaho, taking the St. George Shuttles from St. George to the Salt Lake City Airport, and thence to the BYU Idaho campus in Rexburg. The trip northward was uneventful after our departure at 6:30 on Sunday morning. While newscasters had predicted huge crowds, traffic was not thick enough to cause any trouble.

We arrived at Rexburg late in the afternoon, and were taken in my relatives of a friend of Wesley’s, who were also hosting cousins from American Fork, Utah. After two meals and a night with this family, we headed over to the verdant and well-kept Temple grounds to see the eclipse itself. Many people had gathered at that spot; most, like ourselves, came only as spectators with no instruments beyond eclipse glasses and smartphone cameras, but some were equipped with professional-quality telescopes and cameras.

From first contact, when the Moon began to take a bite out of the Sun, until totality was about an hour. During this time, the sunlight grew weaker and the temperature dropped as the Sun shrank to a crescent, but with one’s eyes alone it was hard to tell that anything was amiss, for the Sun was still too bright to look at. With a few minutes to go until the moment of totality at 11:33, things began to speed up.

Sensing the dimness of evening, the Temple floodlights flashed to life. Crescents of sunlight sparkled like gems in the shadows of trees, and we could see darkness approaching on the horizon. With its last flash of light, the Sun disappeared beneath the shadow and the sky faded to a deep blue twilight. Bright stars were visible, and the Sun’s corona shown brilliantly over the illuminated Temple. Totality lasted a little longer than two minutes, for Rexburg was near the center of the path. The Sun’s return came with dawn on every horizon, as the edges of the shadow closed in on us until the Sun reemerged and the world was plunged back into day. The crescents one again glimmered in the shadows, until they two had vanished, and the only trace of the eclipse was the bitten shape of the Sun when viewed through shades, and the strangely weak feel of its light on one’s face. The Moon took another hour to completely uncover the Sun.

After this, we were back on the road. But unlike the drive northwards, this would be no smooth ride. While spectators had come to Idaho over the course of several days, once the eclipse was over it was just an ordinary Monday, and all rushed to return to work or school. The drive from Rexburg to Salt Lake, supposed to take four hours, instead lasted twelve. We arrived after midnight, rescheduling our connection to St. George for the coming morning. After spending the night in the baggage claim, we boarded the shuttle and returned to Saint George, arriving nearly three days after we had first taken to the road. Our final thoughts? Total worth it. —Wesley