Virtual Summer Youth Success: Career Exploration

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Summer youth programming has been delivered to student in a virtual format in 2020 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.  VGS staff has been innovative in an effort to ensure that young adults with disabilities receive meaningful programming through Summer Youth Foundations, an Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities service provided by VGS and other vocational rehabilitation providers throughout Ohio.

The lessons included in Summer Youth Foundation include: self-advocacy, post-secondary options, and career exploration. Debbie Tarr, a VGS instructor, asked her students career fields they were interested in and found professionals in those fields to share information about their work.

An Ashtabula District librarian provided students, via Zoom, with details on her job and gave the students an overview of the many the volunteer and job positions available within libraries. The students were also provided with details on the many online resources available for free with a library card. An assistant baker with Giant Eagle and a local dental hygienist also virtually discussed their work, the training they received and other opportunities in their fields.

This new approach to career exploration was a success with the students, who got to learn not only about their own dream jobs, but also those of their classmates.