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Junior QB builds legacy on and off the field at Bethel

Quarterback Jaran Roste is being nationally recognized for his community service efforts with Bethel's BUILD program.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Bethel University junior quarterback Jaran Roste is having one his best seasons in a Royals uniform.

"We think we're a really dangerous team going into the playoffs," said Roste.

Dangerous on the field, but dutiful off it.

Roste is the big man on campus — the school's starting quarterback. But his heart is even stronger than is arm. 

And his receivers? The students of Bethel's BUILD program, which prepares students with intellectual disabilities to live independently, while allowing them to have a safe college experience. 

"It's life-changing," said Roste. "It's truly amazing that I get to be a part of it."

But he was working with the students before he ever joined the program.

"We said, 'Hey, we pay students to do this work that you're doing,'" said Ryan Anderson, an internship supervisor for the BUILD. "At first we had to convince him; he just wanted to do it on his own." 

While his level of involvement has grown, the joy he gets from it has always remained. Roste does more than just help with school work; he helps kids get to class, and he has even visited them at the jobs when they need a boost.

"The students give me so much joy," Roste said. "The way they live their day-to-day life, I just try to emulate the way that they live."

Anderson says the feeling is mutual.

"The students feel like he is a celebrity on campus," saaid Anderson. "So they get to hang out with somebody who is so well-respected."

Now, that respect is going national. Roste is one of a handful of college football players being recognized on the Allstate Good Works Team, which rewards players for their commitment to community service. 

"It's a community I want to give back to because it's a community that has given so much to me," Roste said. "The accolades are cool, but I'll continue to do good work without them."

His work has continued. Jaran now works full time with BUILD, while he gets his master's degree in special education. 

"Kind of has shifted what I want to do with my life," said Roste. "I know I want to work with kids with intellectual disabilities in some capacity." 

Roste is calling an audible to change the lives of others, while building a legacy of service.