Transitions’ second session of the Summer Immersion experience is underway! The new Apprentices had a busy first week of classes, activities, life skills training and getting to know each other. Already they have all impressed us with how well they’ve responded to the classwork, and how eager they are to learn.
The Apprentices’ first class was Career Exploration 101 at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. They learned about the basics of job interviewing, good and bad work habits, and which careers would be ideal for them. To help them brainstorm, the Apprentices took some personality and work type assessments to get matched to compatible jobs. The Apprentices also received their internship assignments, which they interviewed for on Tuesday and started working at on Thursday.
Later, the Apprentices attended Self-Management, where they talked about understanding and appreciating people’s differences. The last class of the day was Scheduling, Planning and Organization, which taught them about creating a schedule and recording appointments. The Apprentices also built their own binders for their class papers, homework and schedules.
The next day, the Apprentices attended Wellness class. The focus was on exercise and physical activity. The instructors gave them an overview of exercise, stretching and the use of fitness equipment, and they had a discussion about what health and physical activity are and what they mean to each person.
Later in the week, the Apprentices’ classes included Social 104, Leadership 102 – Awareness and Financial Management. Financial Management featured hands-on exercises. The Apprentices filled out budget sheets with estimates of what some basic items and services might cost. Then, they were issued debit cards, given an overview of how they work and activated them online. The final activity involved them being given cash and sent to Transitions’ gift shop to “buy” an item. At checkout, their instructor deliberately gave them the wrong change and they had to do the math to figure out how much they should have gotten back.
The Apprentices also attended Executive Functioning and Project Management, their capstone course. The learned about project management, including compiling a timeline, assigning responsibilities to teammates and creating a visual plan in preparation for the project. They were introduced to the projects they will be working on throughout the session, to be presented at the graduation ceremony.
Independent living skills is always an important part of the Transitions curriculum, so the first week was full of tips for living on your own. The Apprentices are learning to cook simple and healthy meals. Those in the residential portion of the program are learning about keeping track of and using keys to get in and out of apartments, getting ready in the morning, self-grooming without assistance and living with a roommate.
But don’t worry – another huge part of Transitions is having fun and getting out of the building. As in the previous session, Apprentices are taking arts enrichment courses alongside their other classwork, including Modern Acting and Designing a 3-D Environment. A new one this session is Portrait Painting in Oil, taught by the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts’ new artist-in-residence Gwyneth Scally. Gwyneth has years of experience teaching at the college level, and her work is known and acclaimed all over the world. We are excited to have her working with our students, and she is excited to work with them too.
As the last session did, this session’s Apprentices toured the University at Albany on Thursday. They got to see the campus, eat in a dining hall, visit classrooms, and ask questions of current students and admissions counselors. Afterward, they got a lesson in using public transportation going to Crossgates Mall for shopping and food.
The week wrapped up with a Saturday spent at one of the county’s beautiful lakes. The Apprentices had fun swimming, fishing, playing games and enjoying the sunshine. It was a good first week, and we look forward to ones that follow. Pay attention to this blog for updates on the Apprentices’ progress and what’s going on at Transitions!