Summer Program for Students With Disabilities Offers College, Career and Life Skills

CHEYENNE - Students with disabilities have a unique opportunity this summer to hone skills and prepare for college or a career at a summer program on the University of Wyoming Campus. The program, which will run from July 11-14, is a partnership with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Career Innovations, and the national organization "Some 1 Like You," a leader in connecting persons with disabilities with each other and with service providers and mentors across the country.

Jessica Rasmussen, Transition Consultant for the Department of Workforce Services, says the program is a great way to give students exposure to the college environment while simultaneously building real-world skills. While the program happens to be located on the University of Wyoming campus, it is not just for college-bound students. "We wanted to give students exposure to a campus setting but also help them make more informed choices about what they want to do after high school," said Rasmussen, "this program lets us do both - and it allows students to connect with peers who also have a disability."

The program will include a tour of the University of Wyoming campus, total immersion into dorm life to encourage problem-solving and independence in a new environment, a program orientation, instruction on self-advocacy, building a professional image, how and when to disclose a disability and matching students with mentors. The national organization Some 1 Like You will bring a team of mentors including former Miss USA Shawnae Jebbia to the program to assist students with building real-world skills. Program participants will also receive professional headshots from Special Olympics photographer Brian Johnson. Career Innovations, a Cheyenne firm specializing in career exploration and placement, will assist students in developing social skills and career goals.

The program is free to participants and open to any student in Wyoming between the ages of 14-21 years old with a disability. Applications for the program are due May 21.

For more information regarding the program, please contact Jessica Rasmussen at (307) 745-3160.

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