“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away.” Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Graduation day arrived for me on a beautiful June afternoon at Wayne High School’s stadium in 1976. It is a day I will never forget because I spent so many days looking forward to it. And this year, like it happened for me, thousands of students will gather to receive their diplomas, toss their caps in the air, and celebrate at parties where there always seems to be an abundance of delicious food and graduation cakes. Graduation is a rite of passage 13 years in the making culminating in a frenzy during the senior year as students meet with their high school counselors, complete FASFA, take college entrance exams, sign letters of intent for colleges offering sports scholarships, review offers for academic prowess, search for internships, apply for meaningful employment, and a myriad of other activities.

Even though graduation day may look somewhat the same for students, the year following that day looks different for everyone. Because students vary in abilities, going away to college isn’t an option for everyone and, for those who do go, the outcomes are not always equal. Individuals with disabilities who pursue a college education often face greater challenges than those without disabilities. Charles Catherine, Director of Corporate and Government Relations at the National Organization on Disability (NOD), stated that the disparity in post-secondary education success for students with disabilities is often “{d}ue to discrimination, difficulty accessing services and supports, and low expectations.…” In addition, with or without post-secondary education, individuals also find themselves struggling to secure meaningful and gainful employment.

As a Vocational Rehabilitation provider, CORE strives to support individuals in an array of post-graduate goals. If college is in your future, CORE can assist with the search process, give support with applications and paperwork, and help to garner state-supported funds for individuals with disabilities. If securing meaningful employment after graduation is your goal, CORE offers job training and employment placement opportunities. During the job training process, our Employment Specialists assist participants through the Discovery process where they will identify the individuals’ career goals, interests, and skills.
After completing the Discovery process, our Employment Specialists help participants search for and secure meaningful and gainful employment. Once the participant is hired, the Employment Specialist will provide on the job support until it is no longer needed.

If you are graduating and aren’t sure what your next steps will be, contact us so that we can help you discover your dreams and achieve your college and/or employment goals! “Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away.”

Happy graduation day to all of the 2022 seniors from all of us at CORE!