October Edition (2018), Volume 48

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October 2018 | Volume 48

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Arkansas PROMISE Youth Talks Summer Camp

Arkansas PROMISE Youth Cleotha Bell

The TA Center had a chance to chat with Cleotha Bell, who goes by 'CJ', an 18-year-old Arkansas PROMISE youth who is attending college in the fall after having graduated from high school a year earlier than expected. CJ hopes to eventually be a teacher or a counselor, as he wants to, "help people change the world, and give people help to become themselves. To help people build their confidence a little more."

CJ got a taste of what his next few years in college will be like and an idea of what being a counselor or a teacher entails as an attendee of Arkansas PROMISE's week-long summer camp, which is held on the campus of University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. He feels that he learned a lot at summer camp. To read more about what CJ learned and experienced during his time at summer camp, click 'Continue reading...' below.

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Arkansas PROMISE Logo

Arkansas PROMISE Summer Camp

Arkansas PROMISE just hosted its second summer camp during the last week of June, which was attended by 173 PROMISE youth. Its inaugural summer camp in 2017 was attended by 270 PROMISE youth. The week of summer camp is spent at University of Arkansas at Fort Smith engaging in fun educational activities. There are four reasons Arkansas PROMISE decided to host a summer camp: (1) College readiness – It exposes youth to a college experience; (2) Curriculum - The summer camp break-out sessions are based on research designed to help youth succeed long-term; (3) Community – Summer camp builds inclusion for youth with disability who may feel isolated in their home, school, job, and community; and (4) Independent living – Summer camp exposes youth with disability to a new aspect of life – independence.

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Photo of Jade and Kelly Presenting at APHSA

Jade Gingerich (MD PROMISE) and Kelly Nye-Lengerman (TA Center & UMN) Present at APHSA Session May 2018

The findings and impact of PROMISE are broad reaching, and the audiences that can benefit from learning about PROMISE are diverse. Additionally, there are other key messages embedded within the PROMISE work that are subtle. For example, employment can be a pathway out of poverty or everyone can work with the right supports. Jade Gingerich (MD PROMISE) and Kelly Nye-Lengerman (TA Center & UMN) recently presented at the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) conference in Washington, D.C. to share and inform a new audience about the power of employment, family engagement, and raised expectations. Their session titled: Challenging and Changing the Narratives on Poverty, Disability, and Employment sought to challenge some of the false narratives about people with disabilities, poverty, and employment. Using specific examples from the PROMISE interventions and MD’s PROMISE successes with youth and family engagement, their session provided attendees a new narrative about employment for all. To see their PowerPoint presentation, click 'learn more' below. Jade and Kelly were also invited to write an article in APHSA’s Policy and Practice Journal, which is featured in the October issue: The Destination Matters: Achieving Better Health and Well-Being.

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Photo of Joe Xavier and Kristin Wright

 Photo of CaPROMISE Seminar Attendees

CaPROMISE Seminar May 2018

The annual CaPROMISE seminar was held on May 30-31, in Sacramento. Pictured in the top photo are Kristin Wright, the State Director of Special Education and Joe Xavier, Director of the Department of Rehabilitation, who have worked in close partnership to ensure successful outcomes for youth with disabilities. Joe remarked that PROMISE is not just a program—it has informed how they have changed and better leveraged existing systems (e.g, more than 1200 youth have been enrolled in VR and 83% of CaPROMISE youth have engaged in at least one work experience). Also pictured are the many service providers and other stakeholders who provide multiple services to more than 1500 youth and their families. CaPROMISE established partnerships with 5 state agencies and participants have been referred to more than 1100 agencies representing a range of services including mental health, health/medical, food assistance, academic support, transportation, legal assistance, and housing.

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How to sign up for the new PROMISE TA Center Listserv: please sign-up to the PROMISE listserv located at the AUCD PROMISE TA Center website.  You can sign-up by using this link:  http://www.promisetacenter.org/promise_ta_grantees_listserv.


The AUCD (Association of University Centers on Disabilities) PROMISE TA Center produced this newsletter under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs associated with PR Award #H418P14. The contents of this newsletter do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

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