Leaving college and entering the workforce can be tough for anyone, but Elizabeth, who has Down Syndrome, wasn’t going to leave anything to chance. She was prepared for the transition from school life to the working world by completing the Career and Community Studies program at Kent State University and staying connected with her Service and Support Administrator (SSA) at Summit DD.
Through her connections at Kent, she was successful in gaining full time employment at Coleman Data Solutions, a company that specializes in document management including mail processing and secure storage, scanning and destruction. “I like it,” Elizabeth said about her position at Coleman Data Solutions, adding that past experience and continued support around her prepared her for her career.
She also expressed that throughout her program at Kent State, she stayed in touch with her Summit DD SSA Ronda Barth, who offered any supports she needed. “Liz is a great self-advocate and will call or email me if there are issues and has even scheduled her own team meetings in the past,” Ronda shared. “I have helped her access various community activities by sending her brochures for things like BLAST, college for living and other groups that I find and think she may enjoy.” Elizabeth added that Ronda is very helpful and is easy to stay connected with through email.
Along with studying and working on campus, Elizabeth participated in social activities and special events with other students on campus to get the full four-year college experience. “At first I was nervous and scared of being on a big campus because it is a change from high school, but I came to like it and did really well. I’ve been thinking about Kent lately and I want to come back,” she expressed, thinking about getting her Bachelor’s Degree in the future. “I want to see how much I can handle before I take on too much. My big dream is to work in an office on campus one day.” Ronda said she is always just a phone call or email away if Elizabeth needs anything, and will help and support Elizabeth with her future goals when she is ready.
Summit DD has connected several other students to Kent State and other local colleges, and continues to support them throughout their higher education experience. David has also been studying at Kent State with the goal of becoming paralegal after graduation. Watch his empowering video here.
Want to learn more about Summit DD’s service coordination? Visit our service coordination page for more information!