Six and Twenty learns of Capabilities, CCBDD program

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WILMINGTON – Members of the Six and Twenty Club met on Friday, April 8 at the First Christian Church, with Mrs. Judy Johnston serving as hostess.

The program was presented by Ms. Tanya Day. The book from which she got her inspiration for her program was “The Things We Cannot Say” by Kelly Rimmer, Australian bestselling author of contemporary and historical fiction.

The book introduces Eddie, a dear child with different abilities who helps his great-grandmother, a holocaust survivor, find her voice to share her story (and secrets) through the technology he uses to communicate.

Tanya’s focus for the program was the Career Exploration Program sponsored by the Clinton County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD) that serves individuals in our community with different abilities like those of Eddie.

The two-week Career Exploration Program provided by Capabilities, LLC, and coordinated and supervised by CCBDD Employment First Coordinator Shanon Bene, is a remarkable career exploration opportunity for individuals ages 15-22 who have developmental disabilities.

The camp participants visit employers in Clinton County, learning various jobs at each location. Participants are exposed to trades such as welding, trucking, sorting, grocery and soft-lines retail, as well as restaurant, bakery and non-profit industries.

When not touring and doing hands-on learning, participants learn about soft skills and resources that support people to find and keep employment.

Skills discussed are communication and self-advocacy, budgeting, phone etiquette, hygiene, meal planning, preparation and serving, non-verbal communication skills, teamwork and leadership.

Throughout the program, individuals who have not yet been exposed to public transportation are trained to call the Wilmington Transit Company to request transport to community locations in the transit vehicle.

Participants keep journals of their experiences with the Career Exploration Program. Journaling begins with a prompt and includes goal planning for themselves and gives them an opportunity to remain aware of resources available to them. Additionally, each participant is assisted with creating an email account and resumes. They are encouraged to add to their resumes as they learn new skills and achieve new employment or education.

On the final day of the program, participants go to a local temporary employment agency for assistance with interviewing and presenting their resumes. Discussed with each “interviewee” is proper attire, construction of their resume, and interviewing skills, with thoughtful critiques in each area.

Tanya is a passionate advocate for the Career Exploration Program and the work of CCBDD, and is gracious for the supports it has provided her family.

To complete the Six and Twenty Meeting, a beautifully decorated hostess table was presented by Mrs. Johnston. The Spring-themed table covered in a sheer tapestry and adorned with a bouquet of spring flowers held a variety of delicious packaged gourmet popcorns from which the members could choose.

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