Secondary students at JPII are always preparing for life after school. Whether it’s practicing life skills and functions, participating in our Work for Independence program, or preparing for Transition, every day can be a success.

Work for Independence

Alongside positive reinforcement from our job coach, Secondary students 16 and older have the opportunity to work at various work sites throughout the community on a volunteer basis. This experience helps students to gain responsibility while learning in a hands on workplace setting.

Individuals develop a resume, cover letter, and picture portfolio based on the community work sites that they have interned at throughout their career.  There are one or two placements per day, depending on where the work site is located and the time needed to complete the tasks.

Each student can pick and choose which sites they would prefer to work at based on their preferences and personal transition goals.  This unique opportunity promotes positive experience.

Work for Independence can result in responsibility, exposure to different work environments, social interactions with a variety of ages, and appropriate socially acceptable behaviors with proper support.  Students gain hands-on experience with the possibility of earning a job at a worksite post-graduation.

What Does Transition Mean?

  • Each family will work one on one with a transition team to assess and determine what life may be like once a student leaves JPII.
  • Each student works to develop a Resume, cover letter, and picture portfolio upon graduation.
  • Planning for the future of a young adult with special needs is an ongoing and in-depth process.
  • The transition process is very individualized because we see each student for the individual they are.
  • For life skill students, it means getting ready for post-school life.
  • It involves low level skills, (which may never be mastered) such as dressing and selecting the appropriate clothing in the morning all the way up to more complex skills like holding a job in a community setting.

Students are able to sort various media and place DVD’s in alphabetical order, clean, and file as needed.

Assembling key tags, sorting repair orders, baking cookies, making popcorn, and refilling coffee; it’s all part of the job!

Each student is able to help in the school store, sort papers, and help with various office tasks.  They sometimes assist with organizing school mailings.  

Students deliver ice water to each residential room, set tables, fold napkins, replenish table supplies, and assist in basic housekeeping skills like dusting and vacuuming.  They also interact with residents during lunch, which is a great way to build social skills.

Students assist by washing, drying and replacing pots, pans and utensils for the bakery.

Our students are responsible for a variety of tasks at Berks Nature, including the organization of the “natural play area”, sweeping walkways, keeping bird feeders filled, maintaining inventory in the store, and shredding paper.

Students set tables for residential lunchtime dining.

Students clean the pans for Meals on Wheels, set the dining area for lunch, enter data on the computer for the program, and socially interact with the seniors that attend the program.

With the addition of our own kitchen, students at JPII have taken an interest in cooking and food prep, making Konopelski Catering a great fit as a work site. Our students are responsible for assembling, heat wrapping, and labeling various food items for the company’s vending machines located around Berks County.

Students interning at Park Road Cafe help prepare take-out boxes and write motivational quotes on coffee cup sleeves.

Students that spend time at the Berks County Community Foundation work site are responsible for doing the dishes, organizing paper goods, and taking care of shredding paper documents.

Have questions? Are you ready to become a work site but don’t know how? Contact us. We would love to hear from you!