Youth Transition Services
Post Secondary Education
As a student approaches the time to leave high school, it is important that preparations for adult life are well underway. For early transition planning and active participation in decision making to occur for students with disabilities, members of the planning team need to be well-informed about the student’s abilities, needs, and available services. Our specialized staff will work collaboratively with the youth member and their support network to ensure an effective transition into post-secondary education or employment. Our staff is available to assist with independent living skills training, mobility training, reasonable accommodations, housing search, or any other necessary resources.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama created the "Educate to Innovate" campaign to motivate and inspire students to excel in STEM subjects. The goal is to get American students from the middle of the pack in science and math to the top of the pack in the international arena. In a recent survey conducted by our leadership team, we determined that the statistic of disabled students in STEM (in Los Angeles County, but likely in other regions as well) is not even measurable or not even a statistic. As a result, we took it upon ourselves to create innovative and relevant projects focused around STEM.
A partnership with Columbia Memorial Space Center focused on introduction to STEM and Lego-Robotics. The final product of this project was a fully-functional lego-robotic braille embosser (a braille printer for the blind community).
Participants learned how to assemble and disassemble laptop computers, install an operating system, perform common repairs and troubleshooting, install hardware and software, and learn about available assistive technology for specific disabilities.
Project Destiny is transitioning 300 youth with disabilities between years 2018-2020 through newly-developed programs, such as our dual-enrollment pilot program with East Los Angeles College, giving high-school aged youth the opportunity to earn engineering and graphic design certificates that will enable them to obtain entry level engineer jobs starting at $55,000/year. Other youth will embark on a 2-phase drone project. Phase 1 will consist of an introduction to drones and learning to assemble and pilot a consumer drone. Phase 2 will consist of working with our FAA-certified partner to provide complete drone-pilot training to our participants which will enable them to obtain drone-pilot careers with FAA certification upon successful completion of both programs.
We are available to provide critical resources (such as: Ticket to work information, information on ABLE accounts, benefits counseling, reasonable accommodations, etc.) for assisting job seekers with disabilities with finding integrated, community-based employment opportunities that reflect the individuals' preferences, skills and abilities.
We provide a safe space for youth to convene and connect with other peers. During our support group meetings, which are held twice a month, youth will engage in: informational workshops (friendships, relationships, communication, role models, problem solving, money management, etc.), team-building exercises and socialization, civic engagement and self-advocacy, disability identity and pride, and recreational opportunities such as topic specific movies (STEM, disability, disability history) or outings using public transportation, such as bowling, ballpark or lunch/dinner. The support group is facilitated by a youth staff member but youth-led and youth-driven.