Husker junior follows dad’s example in pursuit of special education career

Evan Lindblad grew up watching his dad positively impact students’ lives and decided at a young age he wanted to do that too.

“My dad has always been my role model. I’ve just always looked up to him,” Lindblad said. “For the longest time, I’ve wanted to be just like my dad. My grandma also worked with special education students, so I guess you could say it kind of runs in the family.”

A junior special education major, Lindblad was selected as the 2017 recipient of the Calvin’s Legacy scholarship. The Calvin’s Legacy Foundation was created in honor of Calvin Curtis, who was born with an undiagnosed genetic disorder and died in 2013 at the age of six. The foundation created by his family promotes awareness and acceptance of individuals with special needs.

Lindblad, a native of Hastings, Nebraska, always knew he wanted to be a teacher, but debated about pursuing a focus on math or history instead of special education. After ruling out math, he decided to major in special education with a minor in history. Besides his two family members working in special education, Lindblad credits his exposure to people with special needs with helping him make the decision.

“There are two people I go to church with who are on the autism spectrum. They are both nonverbal, and having interactions with them and seeing how my dad interacted with them, plus seeing the impact my dad had on the kids he taught at school was really inspiring. He’s making a difference, and that’s what I want to do.”

Lindblad hopes he will eventually get the opportunity to teach in another country.

“I really want to do mission work later in my life. Getting the opportunity to go to a third-world country to teach students who have never had the chance to get an education would be so humbling. I decided to enter the education field because I love working with people and want to give back. What better way to do that than teaching abroad to children who have never received an education.”

Ultimately, though, he simply wants to help his students realize their potential, just like he’s watched his dad do all these years.

“So many students grow up and are told they can’t do this and can’t do that because of their limitations. I want to help these students realize that they can truly accomplish what they want if they are willing to put in the effort.”