Meet Trae’shell. Trae’shell participates in Project SEARCH, a partnership between Goodwill, North Kansas City School District, Children’s Mercy, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Center for Human Services and Truman Medical Center.
Project SEARCH is high school transition program that provides real-life work experience to help youth with significant disabilities make successful transitions from school to adult life. Students participate in three 10-week internship rotations where they learn job skills and receive on-the-job training. For Trae'shall, each internship helped her overcome barriers to employment and taught her valuable workplace skills.
Trae’shell’s mother constantly faced experts warning her with great candor, not to expect very much in terms of her daughter overcoming adversity. She was unsure of Trae’shell’s high aspirations and simply agreed with her, wondering if it would ever be possible.
Well, guess what? Good doesn’t stop where others throw out flags. The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams. Trae’shell has a grace about her and a smile that would light up almost anyone’s rainy day. When she was referred and accepted to Project SEARCH, it was clear that Trae’shell didn’t limit her future based on generalizations and misconceptions projected upon her by others. She was hopeful and confident that she would earn a job working with children.
She discovered great success during her rotation at Bright Horizons. There, she was able to research early childhood education with a focus on child-centered learning. Immediately after Trae’shell’s mid-evaluation, Bright Horizon’s Director, Michelle Franklin, pulled Goodwill Career Coach, Heather Neal into her office and said,
“I just can’t let her go. She’s just the type of employee we’re looking for. I want to hire her.”
Within this environment, Trae’shell was able to thrive like never before, acquiring unparalleled work experience and learning workplace behavior and social skills. When asked recently about Trae’shell, Neal took a deep breath, shook her head, grinned and said,
“She’s living her dreams.”
Bright Horizons recently let Goodwill know that they would like to continue to mentor Trae’shell and pay for her to get her Child Development Associate Certification (CDA). Now, how’s that for today’s Happily-Ever-After Storytime?