Alumni Panel Gives Valuable Advice to Transitioning Students and Their Families

November 14th, 2010 by admin

On November 9th, the Urban Skills Center (USC) and COOK Education Center (COOK)
hosted our 3rd Annual Alumni Panel. At this event, we invite alumni and/or their family
members to come and talk to our current students and families about their post-school
experiences. This year we were excited to learn about the transition experiences of four
alumni and/or their families from Urban Skills Center and COOK Education Center.

Chris, who graduated in 2000 from USC, has been working at SeaWorld for eight years!
He is supported in his employment by a job coach from Partnerships With Industry
(PWI). Chris is involved with Sports For Exceptional Athletes and is taking an adult
education course.

Jay graduated from USC in 2004. He shared his experiences regarding living in a group
home, working with Regional Center and participating in supported employment. He is
currently taking classes at Cuyamaca College and has been a great resource to our current

Barrett graduated from the COOK Education Center in 2006. Barrett has been working in
document destruction at Goodwill Industries. He enjoys his job and gets himself to and
from work using public transportation. His mother, Kerri, shared her experiences with
transition and gave great advice to our current students and families.

Mara, who graduated in 2009 from USC, was unable to attend, however, her parents,
Lance and Eileen, shared information about Mara’ s transition. She has successfully
moved to a group home and is in a program at TLC, a post-school agency in Oceanside.
Mara is volunteering at different places in North County, including a senior center. Her
parents shared their experiences with exploring agencies, working with Regional Center,
and setting up a conservatorship and a special needs trust. They commended the staff
members at the Urban Skills Center for making Mara’ s transition a smooth one.

Attendees gave positive feedback about the panel and expressed appreciation for the
information provided, particularly the opportunity to talk with other students and families
who have already experienced the transition to post-school community resources.