HOME Media Kit Advertising Contact Us About Us


Web The Truth

Community Calendar

Dear Ryan


Online Issues

Send a Letter to the Editor



The Ability Center’s Next Steps Summer Program Prepares Youth for Adulthood

Special to The Truth

The Next Steps Summer Program is a component of The Ability Center’s Life Skills Program that prepares young adults for life after high school. This unique program offers students the opportunity to stay on the campus of the University of Toledo for five weeks where they master everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry in a dorm setting.

Students are employed at local businesses and organizations where they build on professional skills. Participants also get paid for their work in the program. Program participants are typically juniors, seniors, or recently graduated students with any disability.

Students must have goals of attending post-secondary education, obtaining competitive employment, or living independently in the community. Not only do students get an inside look at college and the working world, they connect with other peers and create lasting friendships.

Socialization and recreation are also parts of the program. Activities are planned throughout the summer including go carts, bowling, and attending a Toledo Mud Hens game. There is a fee to participate in the program, although scholarship money and a sliding scale fee may apply.

During the first week of the program, students participate in classes including job readiness, soft skills for the workplace, interview preparation, and independent living skills. Guest speakers provide information on various topics including transition to college or career, personal financial management, self-confidence, and tips for accessibility in the community and college settings. Recreational activities are planned by the students for every night of the Next Steps Summer Program.

Students also have paid work experiences at local companies and organizations in the community. Program participants will reside in a residence hall Sunday through Thursday on the campus of the University of Toledo. There is a $500 fee for the housing component of the program. Scholarship money is available. Contact The Ability Center for more information.

Trevon Sanford was one such student this summer. Trevon, a student at the Summit Academy during the academic year, spent his summer at the Sylvania Area Family Services Program where Dottie Segur is the executive director and Brianna Geer the job coach. Trevon’s duties included assisting camp directors with various activities including reading, games and outdoor projects.

“I want to go to college and military and own my own business someday,” says Trevon of his future plans.

Desmond Burkhalter was also a student in the Next Steps Summer Program this season. Desmond, a student at Scott High School spent his time working at the Toledo Museum of Art under job coach Leah Whitacre. His duties included assisting with drop-in art classes as well as grant-funded preschool programs. He says his favorite part of his duties was working with the kids.

Next Steps Summer Program is a five-week independent living and employment program helping students with disabilities achieve goals of attending post-secondary education or training leading to competitive employment. Participants must be a junior or senior in high school.

The Ability Center is a non-profit Center for Independent Living (CIL) serving northwest Ohio. The Ability Center believes in and supports equitable and inclusive communities for people living with disabilities. The mission is to assist people with disabilities to live, work, and socialize within a fully accessible community.

The Ability Center serves the seven counties of Lucas, Ottawa, Wood, Fulton, Henry, Defiance, and Williams. The Center offers seven unique programs that support people with disabilities. The Ability Center 5605 Monroe Street, Sylvania, OH 43560 • 419.885.5733 abilitycenter.org ™




Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09/12/19 23:48:18 -0400.

More Articles....

Art & Soul joins ​Sarnies Café​ on the first floor of Main Library

TPS Makes Gains on State Report Card

TPS Defies the Odds; Good News in State Report Card



Back to Home Page