Over 300 young adults and more than 50 vendors ascended upon Valley Mountain Regional Center’s Stockton Office on April 3rd, and the Modesto Office, on April 9, for the 2nd Annual Transition Fairs. Designed to inform the consumers and their caregivers that are nearing the age of 22 years old about what services are potentially available to them as they exit the public school system, this year’s events also featured a class on giving an effective job interview with HR manager Bud Mullanix, and a graduation party for those in the class of 2019!
“It is a community partnership that allows this event to happen and be such a success. We are so fortunate to work with so many great teachers and community partners who go out of their way to make this event happen for our young adults ”, said Stockton Transition Team Program Manager Dave Vodden.
Attendees were able to speak to different vocational programs, educational programs, independent living programs, adult day programs and consumer advocacy programs to help them plan their future. In California, when a student with a developmental disability turns 22 years old and ages out of public school, it can be difficult and stressful just thinking of the unknown next chapter of their life. The staff that put this event on hope to ease the transition and provide guidance and support to whatever an individual wants to pursue and achieve. “Knowledge is power, says Vodden. If you are aware of what supports exist, then you have the tools to pursue your goals. Do you want to get a job? Learn how to live independently? Learn to ride the bus independently? There are agencies out there that can support you.”
Modesto Transition Team Program Manager Neidra Clayton noted the growth of the fairs in just 1 year. “The turnout for our 2nd annual Transition Fair was phenomenal! We grew by nearly 100 attendees compared to last year, and received all positive feedback from consumer, parents and teachers. All are looking forward to returning next year.”
Clayton also noted the combined efforts of everyone involved. “It is our goal to maintain effective collaboration with the schools, offices of education, SELPA’s and community agencies to provide our young adults with a person centered circle of support, comprised of individuals committed to their success after exiting the public school system.”
Valley Mountain Regional Center is also planning Transition Fairs for Calaveras, Amador and Tuolumne Counties. Stay tuned for those stories.
For more information, please contact Doug Bonnet, Special Assistant to the Executive Director, at 209-955-3677, email DBonnet@vmrc.net .
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