EXCELLENT INITIATIVE FOR THIS POPULATION - PREPARING STUDENTS WITH FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY FOR THE WORLD OF WORK
They were provided with tools in the areas of entrepreneurship, chemical processes, environmental quality, electronics and robotics.
One hundred young people from the Special Education Program and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act successfully completed a project of the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration (ARV) of the Arecibo region, in coordination with Global Education Exchange Opportunities (GEEO), which allowed them to explore their possibilities for employment in various areas.
The program, which took place during the summer vacation under the name Summer of Occupational Exploration (VEO), was designed to give students a three-week exposure to environmental, chemical, electronic, robotic and entrepreneurial paths in preparation for the world of possibilities they will encounter upon completion of their studies.
"Our goal was to provide these young people with special needs a high quality experience based on the current labor demands, in which they have the opportunity to practice their talents and knowledge in a real post-secondary transition environment with excellent teachers who are preparing the workforce in the northern area," said Odette Piñeiro Caballero, chief executive of GEEO, about the camp that took place at the Instituto Tecnológico de Manatí.
VEO was attended by 103 students between the ages of 14 and 16. A total of 95 students completed the final evaluation, all reporting high levels of satisfaction.
"In this first project, participants were oriented on how to identify vocational interests, obtain information on careers or trades of interest and the labor market, learn about career options for associate degree, high school and vocational or technical education courses, develop social and independent living skills for the world of work, learn what reasonable accommodations are and how they are requested during post-secondary education, among other important topics on pre-employment skills," said Maria M. Gomez Garcia, administrator of the ARV.
For the closing activity of VEO, the young people presented the projects they created in the different routes. The exhibition included several movable robots that were created in the robotics track, automation projects for music industries devised in the electronics track, planting of plants, such as bromeliads and short-cycle edibles, product of the environmental quality track; handmade soaps and aspirins made in the chemical processes track and new business projects that emerged in the entrepreneurship track.
In addition, creative masks made by the students were exhibited in the alternative theater route, in which they worked with body expression and improvisations in playful dynamics.