For Immediate Release (00-16)
Date: April 24, 2000
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952 (Pager #301-930-3880)
Transitioning Students Honored in Reception at Montgomery
Program for Developmentally Disabled Young Adults, Now at Rockville
and Germantown Campuses, Expands to Takoma Park
Rockville, Maryland--Current and former graduates of “Transition Training for Independence” were honored at a recent reception at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus.
A collaborative effort between Montgomery College Continuing Education and Montgomery County Public Schools, the program is designed to support students with developmental disabilities between the ages of 19 and 21 who are transitioning into adult life situations.
Now operating at the College's Rockville and Germantown campuses, the program is expanding to the Takoma Park Campus, to give students in the eastern part of the county an opportunity to benefit from the program. To date, more than 50 students have participated.
Students attend seminar courses on such topics as career development, communication, socialization, organization, and self-advocacy. Instruction and training outside of the classroom help them secure or change employment, travel safely, and become contributing members of the community.
In welcoming remarks at the reception, Dr. Jerry Weast, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools said, “You students feel supported and cared for. This is important when you’re transitioning. You’re going someplace; you’re going to a better life.”
Transitions students can enroll in regular Montgomery College Continuing Education classes, and have access to the College’s Career Center, library, cafeteria, bookstore, as well as sporting, cultural, and arts events.
Graduate Ronald Hawkins recounted his experiences: “I wanted to explore the college level. I got one-on-one here. I learned how to talk to adults in the community and learned how to spend money wisely. I learned how to be responsible and on time. I’m more confident with my reading.”
Mary Welch, a parent whose daughter Margaret is enrolled in the program,
spoke of her own ambivalence in letting go. “This program has given our
children self-esteem. It has let them grow up and go out into the world,
knowing that they can go back to their parents and teachers to get the
support they need. The teachers helped turn Margaret into an adult.”
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