It’s hard to believe that the second session of Transitions’ Summer Immersion Experience is already winding down! Week two was packed with classes and activities, and week three is going to be just as busy preparing for graduation and capstone project presentations.
In class, the Apprentices continued to learn about wellness, career exploration and executive functioning. They got some other material under their belts, too. In their Social Skills class, Apprentices learned about buzzwords and conversational tactics such as introductions, finding common interests, using cover stories and entering and exiting conversations. They practiced their skills in class through role plays, which brought several of the shyer Apprentices out of their shells, and even took what they learned into everyday interactions.
Self-Discovery and Leadership class focused on self-awareness. The Apprentices identified their own strengths and weaknesses and brainstormed ways to turn the weaknesses into strengths. They also went over learning styles and identified their own, so they could adapt their habits to fit.
Week 2 also saw the introduction of the Apprentice Council. The council is an opportunity for Apprentices to practice self-advocacy and leadership. During the sessions, they give personal feedback about Transitions – what works and what can be improved – and influence change in areas that directly affect them. The Apprentices are learning to express their opinions and respond to others’ respectfully and politely, and we’ve seen improvements in the participation and self-confidence of some because of the Apprentice Council.
Some of our lessons take a little more unconventional approach. One evening the Apprentices completed the “Mr./Miss Fix-It” Scavenger Hunt. This activity teaches the Apprentices basic independent living skills. They learned to read what wattage a lamp takes, safely change a lightbulb, recognize when a smoke detector’s battery needs to be changed, change the smoke detector’s battery and reattach its cover, fix tripped GFCI outlets, turn the water off on an overflowing toilet and hang a picture. All the Apprentices did a great job with the tasks and enjoyed learning things that will make them more helpful around the house and more independent in the future.
The Apprentices also took an off-campus trip to the Fulton County Airport for a lesson in aviation. Pilot Don Fleischute and aircraft mechanic Tom Krutz talked about airport procedures, the history of aviation, airplane design and career opportunities in the field of aviation. The Apprentices were all engaged, attentive and full of questions, and their hosts did a great job feeding their curiosity about this fascinating career path.
There has been plenty of fun in the mix too. One night the Apprentices had a bonfire, and on Saturday they spent the day at Great Escape. And remember the lean-to the first session started to build? Session II has been hard at work constructing walls and putting it all together! The Apprentices have loved being outside, working as a team and learning to use power tools. Projects like these are great opportunities for Apprentices to work on their social skills, and it’s great to see those more comfortable with tools helping out those who are new to them. Some had apprehensions, but all the Apprentices participated to help build this permanent gift to all the students who pass through Transitions during the years to come.
For this last week, the Apprentices will be primarily focused on finishing their capstone projects and preparing their presentations for the graduation ceremony. The capstone is primarily group work. All the Apprentices are excited about the project and have flourished in their teams. The leaders, Victoria and Andrew, have done an excellent job keeping their groups on task and bringing out the best in each team member so the group works together in harmony. We can’t wait to see what they present on Friday.
The Apprentices will finish their time at Transitions in a few days, but how can we be sad when they’ve come in just three weeks? Check back soon for an overview of this group’s capstone presentations and graduation ceremony. These extraordinary men and women are sure to wow us with extraordinary work.