Bradley Basden beams as he enters the WEGL studio to cue up his show playlist. A rock n’ roll fanatic since childhood, Basden’s favorite part of the week is his Monday afternoons, which are spent managing the soundboard during his show, “EAGLE on WEGL.”
Basden is a student in the EAGLES Program, or Education to Accomplish Growth in Life Experiences for Success, a postsecondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities. Basden is a member of the inaugural class, and knew he wanted to get involved with music during his time at Auburn.
“My favorite part of being on WEGL is being a DJ and getting to pick the songs,” Basden says.
The partnership between WEGL and the EAGLES Program was established during the summer of 2019, when Basden was set to begin his second year at Auburn in the fall. When Basden expressed that he wanted to work at a radio station upon completion of the program, EAGLES Director Betty Patten says she began searching for a campus experience that would incorporate his love for music.
“There was a conversation about what he wanted to do and where he could do that on campus,” says Patten. “With Auburn having the student-run WEGL radio station, I was able to reach out to Brit Bowen, who immediately responded saying he would love to be involved with WEGL and support Bradley.”
Bowen, coordinator for student media in Media & Marketing, says he knew from his initial conversation with Patten that a partnership with the EAGLES Program would be a great experience for all parties involved.
“Partnering with the EAGLES Program and with Bradley has really been great for all of us, and something we hope to continue in the future,” says Bowen. “You can tell that Bradley loves music and his passion is an inspiration for everyone here at WEGL.”
Patten says that being on WEGL has given Basden a chance to explore his interests and develop transferrable job skills.
“Music is a great way for Bradley to express himself and for others to learn more about his interests and who he is,” Patten says. “His opportunity to select a playlist and be a DJ for WEGL is an opportunity for Bradley to show how musically inclined he is.”
Basden says that his favorite band is KISS.
“I love KISS,” he says. “I got to see them in concert in Birmingham this year and it was great.”
The EAGLES Program has peer mentors called WINGS, or Warmhearted Individuals Nurturing Great Success, who participate in activities and events with EAGLES students and provide interpersonal support in social and community environments. Hallie Hoch, who serves as a WING, says her favorite part of the program is the relationships she has developed with students in the program and other WINGS.
“I have loved serving as a WING because not only have I developed great relationships with other WINGS, but I have become friends with great students like Bradley, who show me that people with disabilities are really just like the rest of us,” Hoch says.
When he isn’t rockin’ out on WEGL, Basden likes to hang out with friends and support Auburn.
“I love going to Auburn football games,” Basden says. “I love to sit in the student section.”
Above all else, Basden loves music and sharing his passion for music with others.
“Music makes me feel great,” says Basden. “I love playing music for other people.”
For more information about the EAGLES Program or to discuss any desired partnerships, contact Patten at 334-844-8426 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about WEGL, contact Bowen at 334-844-2170.