STEP Provides Real World Experience for Special Needs Students

4 years 1 month 3 weeks ago March 05, 2013 Mar 5, 2013 Tuesday, March 05 2013 Tuesday, March 05, 2013 6:17:00 PM CST 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
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis' city minimum wage could rise to $10 an hour starting next week now that... More >>
23 minutes ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 4:16:16 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri motorcycle crashes have resulted in 475 deaths since 2012, with 122 fatalities occurring in last year... More >>
58 minutes ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 3:41:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A controversial bill moving through the Missouri General Assembly could change the handling of workplace discrimination claims in... More >>
1 hour ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 3:28:24 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are pushing legislation that would make it harder for judges to require domestic violence... More >>
1 hour ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 2:54:16 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A coalition of organizations rallied at the state capitol Wednesday in support of a "Moral Missouri." ... More >>
1 hour ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 2:48:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Fire officials in St. Louis are investigating after a vacant home exploded, sending glass, wood and... More >>
3 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 1:20:50 PM CDT in Continuous News
NEOSHO (AP) - Students at a college in southwestern Missouri will see a tuition increase in the coming year in... More >>
3 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 12:47:33 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court has set an execution date for this summer for a man sentenced... More >>
4 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 12:28:09 PM CDT in News
PINE LAWN (AP) — Police are looking for two cars in connection with the shooting deaths of three men in... More >>
4 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 12:23:39 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Two men once detained at the Jackson County jail are separately suing over the lockup's conditions... More >>
4 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 11:39:45 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A federal education law that requires schools to provide transportation to homeless students is having an impact... More >>
5 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 11:34:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Popular mobile app and ridesharing service "Lyft" has joined Uber in Columbia. Lyft added Columbia to its... More >>
5 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 11:06:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Firefighters responded to a house fire at Ridgecrest Drive early Wednesday morning. Eight Columbia Fire Department units... More >>
5 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 10:53:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — An audit launched in the wake of unrest following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown... More >>
6 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 10:11:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Records show that the body of an inmate who hanged himself at a St. Louis halfway... More >>
7 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 9:31:53 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Four more people have been sentenced for their roles in a multi-million fraud that involved impersonating... More >>
7 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 8:57:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Tuesday morning on suspicion of sex crimes involving an underage girl. According to... More >>
7 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 8:50:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A former Jefferson City business owner has admitted to his role in a burglary scheme in... More >>
8 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 8:30:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
5pm 51°
6pm 50°
7pm 49°
8pm 49°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:30p
Jeopardy!
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
4:30p
The Cleveland Show
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Blindspot
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
The 100
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld