Businesses help special-needs students develop social, professional skills
Humble ISD held an appreciation breakfast on Wednesday to honor businesses for creating job opportunities that allow special needs students to develop social and professional skills.
Humble ISD has over 40 business partners in the Lake Houston area that have welcomed special-needs students from district high schools and offered them employment.
Business partners include Amadeo’s Italian Restaurant, Family Time Crisis and Counseling Center & Thrift Store, H-E-B, Kroger, Harris County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4-Judge Korduba and Walgreens.
“We have a community that wraps itself around our school district and our students — a community that sees a future in every Humble ISD child,” Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said. “It’s not measurable. In a time in education where people don’t measure everything, what you saw isn’t measurable, because it’s beyond measure. It’s an incredible partnership. It changes lives forever.”
Students from every Humble ISD high school and the district’s Mosaic Innovative Transition Program have job coaches who go to work with them and guide them if they ever need assistance.
Job Coach Angel Knox has been going to work with the special needs students from Atascocita High School and finds it very rewarding.
“It’s a passion of mine. They give me joy. I love developing a relationship with them because they’re so sweet and kind and loving,” Knox said. “They’re eager to go (to work). They’re always excited to go, and they love doing the job and always want to learn something new. It enhances their skills, it gives them social skills … it also just gives them a glimpse of what they can do in the future. It helps them discover what kind of jobs they can have in the future.”
The students also got to personally thank the businesses for allowing them to work with them and giving them an opportunity to see what it’s like to have a job. Business partners received a plaque showing the students’ appreciation.
“These students actually bring more joy to my team and more help to them than we give to them. Every day them come in, they work hard, they’re really proud of the things they do, and it actually engages my team and builds them up,” Walgreens District Manager Terry Vaughn said. “At the end of the day, you’ll never find people who are more loyal or more excited for the job that they have. And at the end of the day we want to lead the world into a better place — this is one way to do it.”