• 73°

Easter Seals program introduces students to work world

AMERICUS — With the support of Easter Seals of Southern Georgia’s Americus office, eight special education students from Sumter County participated in a Summer Job Training Enrichment Program every Thursday during the month of June lead by Vocational Specialist Wendy Castilla.
The first half of the day was spent in a classroom learning the skills involved in becoming successful workers. Topics included learning about unique skills, barriers to employment, attendance, the value of a strong work ethic, inquiring about jobs, and filling out applications.

Bill Harris Jr., founder of Cafe Campesino, stands at left with program participants who came to work in his business in downtown Americus.

Bill Harris Jr., founder of Cafe Campesino, stands at left with program participants who came to work in his business in downtown Americus.

The other half of the day was spent going out into the community and “working” for local area businesses who partnered with Easter Seals to show the students through first-hand experience what some jobs may entail. The supervisors and staff at each business generously gave of their time to train and demonstrate various duties and then allowed the students to practice these skills onsite.

At the completion of the month, program participants were each presented with a certificate. From left are Joshua Poole, Shaquille Coleman, Kendarious Durham, Jorrey Simmons, D’Angelo Waters, Shantay Smith.

At the completion of the month, program participants were each presented with a certificate. From left are Joshua Poole, Shaquille Coleman, Kendarious Durham, Jorrey Simmons, D’Angelo Waters, Shantay Smith.

The student volunteered at Roman Oven Pizzeria, Council Services, the Salvation Army, Café Campesino, and Phoebe Sumter Medical Center.

Back row, from left, are Eddie Mercer, Jorrey Simmons, D’Angelo Waters, Shaquille Coleman; and front row, Kendarious Durham, Shantay Smith, Joshua Poole, and Wendy Castilla. Cheyenne Reese also participated but is not shown in the photo.

Back row, from left, are Eddie Mercer, Jorrey Simmons, D’Angelo Waters, Shaquille Coleman; and front row, Kendarious Durham, Shantay Smith, Joshua Poole, and Wendy Castilla. Cheyenne Reese also participated but is not shown in the photo.

At the end of the program the students received a certificate of participation, their first resume reflecting their volunteer experience, and a Visa gift card for their labors of love. Each student enjoyed the experience, learned various new skills, and explored their unique gifts and talents with the support of business partners in Sumter County. It was evident how meaningful the overall experience was as each student walked away with a huge smile and enthusiasm for the possibility of one day becoming employed in this community.