Volume 3 Issue 9
Case Managers have also assisted youth in returning to school to complete their high school diploma or GED program. Case Manager continue to with Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in addition to local Workforce Centers to assist youth and families in accessing apprenticeship and internship programs, and gaining employment
Every day, ASPIRE Colorado Case Managers are making a positive impact on the lives of the youth and families.
After navigating the start of school, Liam told Kim he was interested in computer programing and video game design. Kim introduced Liam to Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services where he was connected to an employment specialist. Liam also began participating in vocational classes, learned soft skills, and attended self-determination classes though SUMMIT Independent living Center. Through the employment specialist’s efforts, Liam began working at Missoula Aging Services where he did data entry and power point editing. Liam blew them away with how easily he learned the programs.
Liam now has a team that consists of his VR counselor, employment coach, his mother, mental health case manager, IEP case manager, and Kim. The employment specialist and Liam are now exploring The Montana Code School where Liam could learn to become a Jr. Web Page designer. As a result, his team is requesting IEP alterations to accommodate a paid work experience, get Liam credits for attending the code school, and obtain school credit for the other job related work he has been doing. Last but not least, the team is working on transportation supports for Liam.
The team states, “We all are amazed at how Liam was able to show us his strengths and take off on a pathway towards an exciting employment possibility! Go Liam!”
It is an exciting time of year with new classes, new teachers and new opportunities. Many students are working with new teachers and staff. The ASPIRE Case Managers are meeting with educational staff and attending IEP meetings. Case managers are also assisting youth and their parents to participate more effectively in the IEP process. Students are encouraged to find various ways to increase their self-determination and participate directly in their IEP meetings. Case Managers encourage students and parents to discuss employment with their school and vocational rehabilitation teams and look for opportunities while still in high school.
This month ASPIRE North Dakota is scheduling new training events for parents and youth. We will again be offering opportunities for self-determination, parent training and financial capability training through our partnering agencies. It’s great information for families.
Prior to classes starting, both girls attended a program at their schools designed for Native American college students to get acclimated to college life prior to the hustle and bustle of the first few weeks of schools. At NSU, Brynne took part in the Circle Program and at BHSU, Emma participated in the Bridge Program. They were able to meet new friends and get accustomed to college life.
The first few weeks of college have gone well for Brynne and Emma. They talk every day but are enjoying being individuals and not just “one of the twins.” Both of them have reached out to the Disability Coordinators at their respective universities and are utilizing the assistive technology they received from DakotaLink through Vocational Rehabilitation. They are also part of their school’s TRIO programs and are staying active in the Native American groups on campus. Brynne and Emma are very excited for the rest of the school year!
On October 6, the evening before the St. George Marathon, ASPIRE youth in southern Utah will help with the “Move IT! Kids Run”. Throughout October, ASPIRE youth will have the opportunity to assemble hygiene kits, stuff dolls, sand wood toys and other fun projects that will benefit children and families locally and internationally.
ASPIRE Case Managers look forward to talking with the youth after the volunteering events to discuss knowledge and skills learned, as well as their impression of working with others.
Recently, Jada McDonald joined the ASPIRE North Dakota team. Jada is originally from Detroit Michigan; moved with the military and saw some gorgeous places. She moved to Minot, North Dakota from Key West this past winter. Burrrrrr! She studied psychology at Old Dominion University. Before starting my career at NDCPD, she worked at a resident treatment facility, where she supported children coping with mental illnesses. She is a passionate advocate for persons with disabilities and NDCPD was a natural fit. Her greatest passion is bringing independence as well as individuality to persons with disabilities. She is a strong believer that there is no one size fits all approach to assist individuals in reaching their full capabilities. This is achieved by encouraging youth to understand their strengths, interests, and who they are by way of self-determination. Jada is busy completing her ASPIRE trainings and orientation and is looking forward to meeting with youth and families soon.
|September 15, 2017|
In This Issue:
Summer offers many opportunities! Summer is a time to being out of school and having fun! It’s also the chance to try new things, like having a job! Many ASPIRE youth are doing just that this summer. Case Managers have worked with ASPIRE youth and many partner agencies to provide work experiences and volunteer opportunities in the coming months.
Hurricanes in Texas and Florida. Wildfires in the Montana and Utah. Earthquakes in Idaho. The headlines are filled with natural disasters. I’m reminded to think about being prepared for emergencies. That’s not easy. We live our lives days focused on what’s happening right now, rather than what might happen in the future.
“Disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can!” is the theme of this month’s Emergency Preparedness Month! I hope each of us take a moment to consider our families and how we can take care of each other in an emergency. The most important thing to do is what the Boy Scouts tell us, “Be Prepared.”
First, make a plan. How will you communicate with your children or parents when phones don’t work? Where will you meet up? Check out the web resources below and make your plan today.
Second, make a kit. As we listen to what is happening after the hurricanes, some people will not have electricity for a month. Grocery stores aren’t even open. What will you eat? Where will you live? Making small ‘bug out bags’ with food, water, clothing and a first aid kit can really help in a pinch. Make one for each member of your family.
Third, be informed. Contact your local city or community offices, and find out what they have planned. Where you will go if you have to evacuate? Where will the shelters be?
Disasters and emergencies happen when we least expect them. But we can prepare. I hope you’ll check out the many resources for you and your family and take at least one step today!
FEMA - https://www.ready.gov/publications
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