ViaQuest News

ViaQuest/Olentangy Employment Initiative: Success Stories

The ViaQuest/Olentangy Employment Initiative ended for the school year at the end of May.  As a point of reference, this is the program ViaQuest developed with Olentangy Local Schools & TRECA to provide community based work internships in the Village of Powell for current Olentangy Local School students with disabilities.  This year was the first year of the program.

While developing the Olentangy Employment Initiative, the partners determined that the goals will be that students going through this program will have the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience through internships that would then lead to the opportunity for employment &/or more appropriate graduation (graduating prior to 22 years of age).

Our pilot program consisted of three female students.  Nanette, Alexis & Kelly.  All are 19 years  of age.  At the start of this program, all students and their families had the expectation that they would continue to enroll in Olentangy Local Schools through age 22.  The families did not expect for their child to meet the expected outcome goal (early graduation or job).

However… Nanette & Kelly are graduating this year and Alexis was offered a job at her internship site! That would be a  100% success rate of the program!

Olentangy Local Schools is overjoyed with the final outcomes of the program, as are the students, their families & the internship sites.  All of them directly contribute the participation in the Olentangy Employment Initiative as the reason for the students’ success!

More details

Nanette will be attending cosmetology school after graduation, and will continue to be supported by ViaQuest through OOD funding.

Alexis has been offered a job at Local Roots, and will continue to be supported by ViaQuest through OOD funding.  Due to this job, Alexis is considering ½ day academics next year instead of attending school full time.

Kelly will be attending OSU’s TOPs program for further education after graduation.  A requirement of this program is that all participants must be able to safely navigate crosswalks and understand pedestrian rules. Kelly did not have these skills prior to this year.  She learned and mastered them as part of her individual program in the Olentangy Employment Initiative.  Due to her mastery of these skills, she became eligible to enroll and was accepted in the TOPs program.

This is a tremendous success for ViaQuest, the VES team and specifically Wes Almond & Ashley Radca who worked day-to-day on the Olentangy Employment Initiative!

This program has been such a success that there are already another three students enrolled for next school year and ALL of the current internship sites have agreed to continue to be part of the program.  Additionally, Olentangy Local Schools highlighted the program this month in their newsletter.  Here is a link to that article:  http://issuu.com/olsd/docs/spring_2014_olsd_community_newslett

ViaQuest continues to provide incredible services and outcomes for people of all ages!