By Shelley Dean, Co-Arts-and-Entertainment Editor
Post is home to the inaugural class of the Positive Transitions to Work (PTW) program. The program is offered through Positive Behavior Support (PBS) Consultation in collaboration with the campus’ Center for Community Integration.
PTW is a two year program where college aged adults with developmental disabilities can learn vocational skills in a group of cohorts. The PTW program focuses on supporting independence and personal growth.
Students are exposed to six different career field options identified as important by the US Department of Labor; human Resources, business, communications, health, agriculture and manufacturing.
Though only in its inaugural year, the PTW program is being well received by students.
“I’m loving it so far. I learned that I appreciate not just writing but also there’s several other jobs people can take and how each of those jobs contribute to society whether low or high,” PTW student Victor Hoang said.
Hoang loves art, writing and fiction.
”It’s a very calm, peaceful environment where we do group sessions and activities as a group, so that we’ll be given time to learn and develop,” Hoang said.
Hoang has been working towards the goal of providing for himself and his family through the PTW program.
“I wish to work independently and lead a more independent life, and also to help my mother make some money in order to live a fulfilling life, and in order to do that I need to learn how to work,” Hoang said.
Behind every student there is a mentor. Hoang’s mentor is Victoria Arias. Arias is part of Post’s early childhood education masters program.
”I just look forward to coming and hanging out with Victor. He’s given me some movie recommendations. We just learn more about each other everyday. It’s been a great experience, and meeting everyone else too has been fun,” Arias said.
Arias signed on to be a mentor for the PTW program in order to fulfill some hours needed for a course, but ended up staying for the experience.
“I had never worked with anyone with any developmental disabilities, I have some family members that have some disabilities, but this was the first time for me. This was for a class to get some hours, but honestly, I’ve done more than I ever had to for class just because I enjoy spending time here,” Arias said.
Arias says she learned confidence from Hoang. He is far more outgoing than her, while she is more of an introvert.
“I never really put myself out there to try new things, I never thought that I would be a mentor for anyone. I just think this is a great opportunity and I hope to continue,” Arias said.
The PTW program interviews less than half of the applicants they receive applications from, and accepts less than half of those interviewed. The program is selective, but this ensures the students coming in are ready to work.
One hope Arias and Hoang share for the PTW program is that the Post community would be more receptive to them.
“I wish more people knew about the program and signed on to be a mentor and tried to include them in the community and be friends with them too,” Arias said.
Hoang wishes more people knew about the program, and signed up to be part of it as well.
“I want them to know that if they know somebody that has a developmental disability of some sort. A young adult looking for a purpose in life, I recommend them coming here, where they can learn about themselves,” Hoang said.
Hoang encourages anyone on the Post campus to introduce themselves to any PTW student, they are looking to be a part of the campus community as well.For more information on the PTW program, visit https://www.positivebehavior.org/ptw.html.