(Dis)abilities + Work + Beaverton = No Problem! Meet The Class of 2017!
By Dirkse CC Team
The 10 young adults pictured participated in a graduation or “aging out” ceremony held on June 10th, 2017 at Cedar Mills Bible Church. Like many graduates they were excited to hear their names called, walk on stage, and to see their friends, family and teachers all celebrating their achievements and milestones. But these students had more than a diploma to be proud of; they had their first paid job in the community. For some, this might not seem like a challenge but when a person experiences a disability such as Autism, both a job and a diploma are exceptional accomplishments.
Much of their success is due to a team of people in addition to their families, who help prepare, support and assist the students in achieving their post-secondary employment goals prior to aging out of School District support at age 21. Teachers at The Beaverton Community Transition Program, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and Job Placement Agencies like Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc. all play a part in the successful outcome.
The students that qualify for special education services focus on learning independent living skills including money management, social and communication skills and volunteer work experiences that help prepare them for a job. “Many of our students figure out their path in life in this program” said Steve Baer, one of five teachers in the program. “The transition from high school to a job is tough for anybody, it’s our job to help students adapt and be successful and to become independent.”
Each student is as unique as their job and employer. Abigail works at Wunderland with children while Mariah is working with seniors at Brookdale. Carlo is helping D’vida Injury and Wellness Clinic with their laundry whereas Bryan and Marsellas clean up the lobby at Pizzacato and Killer Burger. Drive by The Barbers on NW Cornell and you’ll find Tad enthusiastically waving a sign, contrasted by Salim working quietly sorting and packaging supplies. One thing they all have in common; their first paid job in Beaverton; their community and hometown.
Congratulations Class of 2017!
For more information on how to evaluate your business and identify ways to incorporate motivated individuals with specific skill sets in to your workforce, contact Cindy Bahl, Business Development Manager at Dirkse CC @ 503-258-7715 or firstname.lastname@example.org