In 2017, Summit DD launched an innovative partnership focused on helping young adults with developmental disabilities prepare for the professional world once they graduate. The Transition Services for Youth program began as test pilot and has evolved into a successful and sustainable initiative that greatly impacts young adults in Summit County.
“We owe the success of this program over the past several years to our great community partners,” commented Summit DD Superintendent John Trunk. Woodridge School District jumped at the idea of the original pilot program in 2017. Summit DD, parents and school officials came together in the beginning to seek out and select a skilled, local private provider for these unique services. After a detailed interview process, Koinonia was selected for the job coaching and mentoring services.
Since its inception, over 20 Woodridge students have been able to take advantage of community-based career exploration activities, including: workplace tours, volunteer opportunities, internships, job coaching and more, all in tandem with their regular academic activities. It has amounted to hundreds of hours of essential career and development experiences at dozens of community businesses and organizations.
“Summit DD guided us through this process every step of the way. We are thankful for them and Koinonia and wish for the program’s continued success,” shared N’ecole Ast, Director of Pupil Services at Woodridge School District.
“Everyone has been fully committed since the beginning. We are thankful to all who have participated and made this a success,” commented Drew Williams, Summit DD Director of Community Supports and Development.
This initiative has been funded by local tax dollars that were set aside by Summit DD to specifically create and foster innovative programs. Thanks to various Summit County business donors in 2019, this program will continue to be sustainable into the future.
Since this has become a proven program, Summit DD plans to launch the initiative at other local school districts. In fact, the Springfield School District is currently being piloted in 2019.