ASPIRE Montana youth, Lizzy, is making quite the name for herself. Lizzy
has autism and since enrolling in ASPIRE, she has connected to the
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program. VR arranged for her to have a
work experience at the Triple D Ranch. While there, Lizzy fed baby
animals, cleaned cages, and completed other ranch related tasks, a
regular ranch hand. Lizzy will participate in other job experiences with
VR to ensure she is headed toward the employment she desires. Lizzy
made quite the impression on the owners of the Triple D Ranch. They have
bragged about her work ethic and praised her work while there. They
were so impressed, they want to hire her full time when she graduates
this spring! If this works out, Lizzy still plans to take a class at the
local community college while working at the Triple D. Lizzy is
considering moving into the college dorms to experience a more
independent lifestyle. Lizzy’s ASPIRE adventure has also resulted in her
connecting to the local Independent Living Center where she has taken
self-determination classes. Lizzy’s mom has also participated in the
Financial Capability trainings and the Benefits Counseling provided by
ASPIRE. Well done Lizzy!
Posted on 03/05/2018
New York State
Narrowing Down Career Interests - Cornelius
The Western New York PROMISE team is working with high school senior Cornelius to explore potential careers. Cornelius is motivated to try as many experiences as he can. Meanwhile, Cornelius's mom, Charmaine, says PROMISE has also been of great assistance to her.
Posted on 12/22/2017
Reyna - a Youth with Promise
Meet Reyna. She's resilient, strong, and knows how to advocate for herself. Reyna struggled with a lot of trauma and anger issues throughout her life. She was feeling stuck in the system and starting to age out of foster care when she found Wisconsin Promise. With support from Promise including trauma-informed care, whihc is the center of Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker's Fostering Futures initiative, Reyna has begun to harness her independence.
Reyna is a Youth with Promise, with plans to change the world.
Posted on 11/29/2017
Eastern Shore 18 Year Old Youth Meets Multiple Goals
The following success story highlights an eighteen year old MD PROMISE male youth who lives with his mother. The youth has stated his interest and goal is to become a police officer, entering the military and/or working in the cyber security sector. This youth was hired by the local city police department full time for the summer of 2017. The youth also completed driver’s education classes, obtained his driver’s license and purchased his first vehicle on his own this past year. The youth also applied and was accepted to a prestigious college which was located on the west coast. The youth didn’t want to be so far away from his family and ultimately decided to stay home for the first two years of college. The youth enrolled in and started attending college courses at the local community college this past fall 2017 semester and is adjusting well to college life. The youth has always been engaged with the MD PROMISE program since initial enrollment and has continued to be highly self-motivated.
In order to obtain the goals that this youth has accomplished in the
program thus far the MD PROMISE program has worked with him to overcome
his barriers to success. The youth’s main barrier to success included
transportation and limited financial support. The youth utilized
positive relationships with his local high school to obtain employment
opportunities as well as enrollment in the CTE program to boost his
chances of obtaining a paid position with the local police department.
The youth paid for his own driver’s education classes, purchased his
first vehicle on his own and pays the monthly auto insurance payments on
his own. Moving forward, the MD PROMISE program will continue to
support this youth with own goals he wants to pursue.
Posted on 09/29/2017
Cody - a Youth with Promise
Cody is excelling as a student at Burlington High School and employee at McDonalds. He plays video games, rides bike, and is learning to drive and weld. His goal is to be a welder after college. Cody was born with a brain tumor and has just one hand, but that's not stopping him.
He's a youth with Promise, on a journey to achieve his personal, educational, and career goals.
Posted on 04/12/2017
PROMISE Staff Organize Extra Benefits Consult
In the Northeast Promise youth and family members engage with their Promise DVR Counselor and are engaged in employment related services and supports, but have been hesitant to engage in any other Promise services. For example, they were hesitant to meet with a benefits specialist because they did not want to share their financial information with anyone and didn't want "anyone messing with their benefits". The Promise DVR Counselor and benefits specialist worked together and decided to provide a very short general benefits consult where the benefits specialist would give more general information (so families would not have to share their specific financial and benefit information with the benefits specialist). With the Promise DVR Counselor using MI, Promise youth/families agreed to this short consult. Both the Promise DVR Counselor and the benefits specialist attended this short consult meeting. After this short consult with the benefits specialists, many of these Promise youth/families decided they did want a full benefits consultation and signed the release forms to share individual benefits information with the benefits specialist.
Posted on 04/11/2017
ASPIRE - Utah
Noor - An Involved Parent
This month, one of the ASPIRE parents completed a series of financial education classes and has begun saving through an Individual Development Account. As a refugee, the parent is very motivated to improve his family's long-term economic and social opportunities by expanding his own business. For example, Noor has completed certifications in food handling, food management, and a "Masters of Business on the Street" program, where he has learned about business plans, financial statements and understanding customer markets.
Noor has used his knowledge from the business program to help start a non-profit organization, jasmineutah.org, in collaboration with other refugees. This program assists refugees with self-sufficiency, independence, education, and social events. In addition, they are using donations to deliver hygiene products to refugee families, assist with costs associated with dental care, and assist refugees in obtaining driver's licenses.
The Case Manager is very impressed and inspired by this parent's activities, motivations, and altruistic efforts to help lift himself and other refugees in the community.
Posted on 02/09/2017
Xavi's Story: Youth with Promise
She’s like most #teenagers… she hangs with her cats, dances with her friends, and loves Criminal Minds. She’s also going to have a lung removed. She’s a youth with Wisconsin Promise, on a journey to achieve her personal, educational, and career goals. Xavi shares her dreams, challenges, and the steps she’s taking with Wisconsin Promise to plan for her future. https://promisewi.com/#PromiseWIStories
Posted on 08/22/2016
ASPIRE - South Dakota
Youth Highlight - Emalynn and Brynne
Emalynn and Brynne are twins from Parmalee, South Dakota. They are entering their senior year at St. Francis Indian School. Emma competes in cross country and track for the Lady Warriors and Brynne is the student manager.
Through ASPIRE, Brynne and Emma have received services from Vocational Rehabilitation, and are participating in South Dakota Project Skills. They are currently employed through Project Skills at the Wanbli Waconi Tipi JDC on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. One of their jobs is taking care of the bee hives and extracting honey from them. They are learning new things every day from the bees and love the fresh honey smell!
The girls have competed in races throughout the summer. They recently ran in the 3rd Annual Billy Half Marathon where they met Billy Mills (Olympic gold medialist). Brynne ran the 5k, and Emma ran the half marathon (13.1 miles)! Earlier this summer they also competed in the Mother Earth Trail Race in Greenwood, SD on June 25th. Emalynn and her dad, Joe, took 1st place in the half marathon relay, and Brynne was the top female finisher in the 5K.
Brynne and Emma are looking at colleges, and have decided to attend different schools. This fall they are planning to visit colleges, and make a decision on where they will attend.
Arkansas PROMISE and its staff have worked with one of its youth participants and her family to find competitive, integrated employment and to prepare her to achieve her long-term career goals. Take a look at this video and hear from this young woman, her mother, and the Arkansas PROMISE staff who worked with her to find a work-based job experience and eventually a paying job.
Posted on 06/07/2016
Dorian Shavis - A Firm Foundation
As someone who expressed an interest in architecture, one of the Arkansas PROMISE youth participants expressed his desire to work at an architectural firm. Working with the local workforce board, Arkansas PROMISE staff set up an interview with a local architectural firm and secured an internship that resulted in the PROMISE youth and the firm staff learning from one another. Watch this video to hear from this youth and the firm staff as they gain experience with one another and help a young person take the first steps toward his long-term goal of being an architect focused on revitalizing his own community.
Posted on 04/15/2016
CaPROMISE participant Nestor is a high school senior who has autism. For his Senior Project he chose the subject, “How to Become a Pilot” and asked Janet Loza, his Career Services Coordinator with the Riverside County Office of Education, if she would help him arrange an interview with a pilot. Janet contacted the Riverside Police Department Air Support Unit and learned that Officer Ratkovich would be happy to meet with Nestor.
Janet took Nestor to his appointment, and Nestor was able to ask a series of questions about how to become a pilot and about the best and worst features of the job. After the informational interview was finished, Nestor was able to tour the facility; this included a portion of the police station, the hangar and the helipad.
At 17 years old, Bill* wanted greater independence and to go to college, but wasn’t sure how to get there. Autism made it hard for Bill to conceptualize the many steps in a complex task, so planning out the myriad of actions he needed to do to get from high school to college and beyond was oftentimes overwhelming.
Bill learned of the Maryland PROMISE project through an advertisement, and with the encouragement of his case manager, enrolled in the free program. PROMISE stands for Promoting the Readiness Of Minors in Supplemental Security Income. The Maryland PROMISE project is one of six model demonstration programs funded through the US Department of Education to provide coordinated services and supports to youth with disabilities receiving supplemental security income (SSI) benefits and to their families in order to improve the education and career outcomes. By having a team of supports, these youth with disabilities and their families can focus on their education and dreams, eventually reducing their reliance on SSI and creating for themselves a bright future.
Posted on 04/15/2016
Participant with Autism Pursues Career and Educational Goals
A PROMISE participant with autism was seeking a job in the field of computer repair and graphic design. She partnered with her Wisconsin PROMISE DVR Counselor and already has had three paid jobs in retail and is now working towards her job goals of Computer Repair/Graphic Designer for which she plans to go to a technical two-year college leading to a four-year college. Her mom is also working with the Wisconsin PROMISE DVR Counselor to find a better job in an office setting that will increase her income and include benefits. The youth would like to move out of her family home and become independent with the ultimate goals of not using SSI benefits in the future, a goal her mother fully supports.