STEP Provides Real World Experience for Special Needs Students

4 years 9 months 1 week ago Tuesday, March 05 2013 Mar 5, 2013 Tuesday, March 05, 2013 6:17:00 PM CST March 05, 2013 in News
By: Emily Spain
loading

COLUMBIA - For Rock Bridge High School senior Jared Gulley, this year Boone Hospital is his classroom. He's working there for school credit thanks to a new program called STEP or Seamless Transition Through Enhanced Partnership. It's aimed at helping students with intellectual or developmental disabilities learn job skills. The hope is that the students will be able to make a smooth transition into the workplace after graduation.

"It will help me. A lot of people who employ people like people who can go out there and help and I have a lot of confidence while I'm doing this so that will help me too. I had confidence before, but I have even more now," Gulley said.

Columbia Public Schools joined forces with Boone Hospital and three other agencies to make the program a reality for six high school seniors.

"This has really helped them understand that it doesn't matter what the disability is they can be good as something and contribute to society just like the rest of us," said STEP coordinator Karen Morgan. Morgan's taught special education for 21 years and said this program is giving the students a chance to see themselves succeed.

"It's been very rewarding to see them become more independent," she said.

For Gulley's mom, Cynthia White, it's all about helping her son secure a positive future.

"To have him have that reality piece where he sees what would be required of him to be able to be self sufficient, that's really important to me as a parent to know that he'll have that ability to take care of himself and he sees it himself," White said.

While Gulley studies sterilization, Hickman senior Andrew Carter's main subject is sleep lab scrubbing.

"It's a hospital you know, people don't want to think you can get sick in a hospital," Carter said when explaining why his job to clean up the sleep labs is important. He said he's learning about "responsibility, dedication, (and) mostly teamwork."

Cleaning is the part of the lesson that's easy to see, but what you might miss is the elbow grease that goes into improving interpersonal skills.

"Communication with my staff and also with visitors and everything they're getting more comfortable," said Environmental Services Supervisor for the hospital Ryan Sobba. He helps supervise some of the students like Carter. "These kids have so much opportunity and potential that's out there for them. They can develop into great people and great workers also."

The hospital also provides a learning laboratory that removes the intimidating social circles you find in high school.

"This is probably the first time that some of them have truly felt accepted and truly felt successful because many times...they might have endured bullying, but here at the hospital they are accepted for who they are," Morgan said.

It's a culture of inclusion, where bosses become friends and where work beats going to school.

"Being with all these great people is the best part of my job," Gulley said.

Students in the STEP program will get help from an ACT Career Specialist when looking for permanent employment after graduation. The students do not get paid for their work, but instead receive school credit.

The STEP program earned the "Honorable Mention" for the Governor's Council on Disability 2012 Inclusion Award. The council will present the award on April 16 in Columbia. Another accomplishment to note; on Monday, a student in the STEP program found full-time employment.

 

More News

Grid
List
OLATHE, Kan (AP) — A third man has been convicted in the killing of a suburban Kansas City gun... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 8:46:29 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said it concluded a three-month long investigation into a... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 7:54:30 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Mid-Missouri could be gaining its second, fully-accredited Montessori school. Tonight Woodland Montessori will put forward its... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:53:00 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
UPDATE: The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed they have arrested 36-year-old Audrey Griffith in Audrain County in connection with... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:49:00 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - On Wednesday evening, Columbia Police Officers were dispatched to the 2300 block of Carpenter Drive in reference to... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:20:46 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police Officers responded to the 1500 block of Vandiver Drive in reference to a reported home invasion... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 5:28:42 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
Update: Columbia Police Officers have made an arrest in regards to Wednesday morning's incident in the 1500 block of Fir... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 4:50:00 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The director of the Missouri Veterans Commission has resigned amid complaints about care at the St.... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 10:37:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
SALINE COUNTY - Former Columbia Police officer Rob Sanders will head back to the courtroom in May 2018 as he... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 10:03:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired outfielder Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins. The deal is pending a physical. ... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:41:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Today the Federal Communications Commission will vote on a plan to repeal net neutrality and librarians worry this... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:44:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Continuous News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - The man who was found on Audrain Road 913 Tuesday next to a crashed car died of... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:32:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - Missouri law enforcement is impeded by a number of issues in cases involving child sexual abuse. Alleged... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:20:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Target 8
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce hosted the ninth and final public hearing by the 21st Century Missouri Transportation... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:12:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal net neutrality is fast approaching. The vote to remove regulations that... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:12:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Justice Reinvestment Task Force took a big step Wednesday when it comes to addressing mental health,... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:53:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - As Columbia Regional Airport plans to expand, it got a push from Mayor Brian Treece. Treece called... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:37:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri is among the worst states nationwide at preventing its young people from smoking and using tobacco, according... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:15:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
12pm 37°
1pm 36°
2pm 37°
3pm 37°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
12:30p
Inside Edition
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury

Tonight's Schedule

6:30p
Football Night in Indianapolis
7:20p
Thursday Night Football
7:00p
iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2017
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld