Join us on April 30 at our 12th Annual Legacy Gala as we celebrate the resilience of John Paul II Center’s dedicated students, adults, staff, and volunteers. The evening includes dinner, a performance by our students and adults, silent and live auctions, and the presentation of our Halo and Peggy’s Legacy of Faith Awards.
Preparing our students for life after graduation takes many forms. For some, it may mean learning new job skills so they can enter the workforce. For others, it may mean teaching them the life skills that they will need to be more independent at home. For every student, it means providing them and their family with guidance and the tools to successfully take that next step in their lives. In all cases, these steps require years of planning, beginning when students turn 14 to create individualized transition plans.
Recognizing the importance of developing these plans for every student, this January JPII expanded its transition planning services through the addition of a full-time Transition Coordinator. This position complements the additional therapies and services already provided in-house for our students.
When students turn 14, they enter the transition planning stage. Currently, half of JPII’s students are considered “in transition,” meaning each one needs an evolving plan for life after graduation that meets his/her unique needs. The plans also include identifying funding and services once the student turns 21, a time when all services they currently receive end. Navigating an unknown landscape can be daunting for parents, so the Transition Coordinator can provide a listening ear while guiding parents to this new phase.
With so many students in this phase, it was important that a staff member be dedicated to developing plans not only for students who will enter the workforce but also for those who work after graduation is not possible. The move to a full-time Transition Coordinator also meant that another teacher needed to be hired. These changes mean increasing our costs, but we believe deeply that the end result is well worth the investment.
This year’s Legacy Gala Emotional Appeal will raise money to fund this expanded role. We will provide an insight into the impact the program has on the lives of our students and their families. You will see how proud our students are to work in their community. You will see how proud their parents are to see them in the work environment. You will learn how students like Bella, Nathaniel, Cynthia, and many others are offered unique and exciting opportunities close to their homes and community. Through it all, you will see the gratitude from the families who know that regardless of their child’s abilities they have a place and future after graduation.
If you are unable to join us, we will share our story after the event via social media so you, too, can see the importance of this life-changing position. Click here to support this program today.
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