Students with disabilities commonly end up in low-wage, service sector jobs. There is a clear opportunity to open up alternative career pathways for students, build work-based skills, and create pathways for self-determination and independence. This is where STEMSkills comes in.
In 2017, Eric Duer (M. Ed. Special Education Transition, CESP) began taking students to visit Tesla and Microsoft, the flight tower at Dulles, to veterinarians, maker spaces, and more, to give students exposure to the STEM work environment and consider new and exciting career paths. Eric emphasized workplace culture norms in group conversations with STEM professionals and boosted independent living skills and autonomy by traveling together on the Metro.
“I believe STEM Skills is an amazing program that truly cares about the kids…I believe they are getting exposed to many different environments…and are gaining skills that will improve their lives overall.” Dominique, Microsoft