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Wenatchee Valley Community Transitions program reunion

The Wenatchee World - 5/10/2024

May 10—Wenatchee Valley Community Transitions program held its first reunion at Pybus Public Market on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, in Wenatchee. Former students from 2018 to present, their parents, and caregivers attended the event to share stories, have lunch, and dance.

The Wenatchee School District's transitions program helps students with special needs and disabilities who have completed four years of high school with vocational skills training to prepare them for transition into the workforce.

Wenatchee School District teacher and case manager for the program Beth Sykes said, "Our program is all about helping students make connections with the community as well as teaching students how to find, and maintain employment."

"I was thrilled today when I invited former students to share about their employment, to hear that 25/34 former students are currently working or have had paid employment since leaving our program," Sykes said.

"It is so thrilling to hear about their successes. That is 76% of our former students. It is a true testament to the values and commitment of the Wenatchee Business Community to practice inclusive employment," Sykes said. "It is quite humbling to teach in a valley that genuinely offers so much support to this historically marginalized group of people. I am proud to be a part of this community. The national average of employment for people with disabilities in 2023 was 22.5 percent. Businesses in the Wenatchee Valley are clearly, inclusively minded, and are making a huge difference."

Pybus Public Market donated the space. The program hopes to continue annual reunions.

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(c)2024 The Wenatchee World (Wenatchee, Wash.)

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