The third week is over, and with it the first ever session of the Transitions Summer Immersion Experience. Congratulations to the graduates of the session – Transitions’ very first class! We are so proud of the progress each of these young people have made over just three weeks.
On Friday we held a graduation ceremony, where the Apprentices’ friends, family and instructors came to watch them present their capstone projects. Each Apprentice worked on a capstone that summarized part of the program’s curriculum. Apprentice Abby D. led the pack with a well-spoken and funny overview of Life Skills: what they are, why they are important to independent living and how Transitions taught them to her.
Next came Jocelyn, who produced a funny and informative video outlining common conversational errors she learned in Social Relationships classes and what to do instead.
Patrick talked about career exploration and how Transitions helped him realize that his dream career is being a paramedic, and what being a paramedic entails.
Next came Coty and Garett, who as a team talked about self-discovery and leadership.
Apprentice Asher showed the crowd what he’d worked on in his video game design class, then introduced a video in which he talked about what he learned and his favorite parts of the program.
After a brief intermission, during which we aired a music video the Apprentices created in their Music and Rhythm enrichment class, Abby T. gave her presentation on self-management and what it takes to live on your own.
Courtney followed her with an overview on wellness – mental, physical and social.
The grand finale came courtesy of Apprentice Joe, who showed us video of himself performing a song he wrote about Transitions.
All the Apprentices overcame their nerves and showed the audience what they learned in articulate, poised and funny presentations. They did a fantastic job of keeping their content brief but comprehensive, informative and interesting.
After that Apprentice Garett, on behalf of the Apprentice Council, read a letter detailing what the Apprentices thought of the program and how they suggested it could be better. Then was the recognition ceremony: each Apprentice got a certificate commemorating their time in the program. The afternoon ended with a series of hilarious skits and improvisational games put on by the Apprentices in Roberta Esposito’s Modern Acting Workshop.
All the Apprentices were proud of what they accomplished, and the experience seemed to have deeply affected all of them. Apprentice Joe was particularly touched. In a letter he penned to the Transitions staff during the last week, he said, “I can’t believe we are having a farewell party for Transitions. I learned so much from all of you and don’t want it to end. You guys taught me to be a bigger man in the community.”
“I love acting class and music class. I’ll miss the staff and my friends. I’ll miss the road trips. I’m crying and upset,” he continued. “I wrote the rap to show everyone what I learned on the last day. I recommend people with disabilities come to Transitions. The food is great.”
He concluded, “It’s like a real college to me, and I got accepted when I thought no one would accept me. You gave me hope, showing me people can do anything. Could it be any harder to say goodbye?”
Join us in congratulating these remarkable men and women, and in thanking them for making the first session of Transitions a success.
The program continues with the next session, which starts this week. As always, follow this page to track their progress!