The Klamath County Transition Program celebrated the four students finishing the program at the 2018 Independence Day. Similar to graduation, Independence Day celebrates when students finish the program at age 21, and begin life outside the Klamath County School District.
“Independence doesn’t mean you’re alone,” said keynote speaker Klamath County commissioner Kelley Minty Morris. “As you go out there, even though you will be independent, you still have a huge support network around you.”
KCTP serves special education students ages 18 to 21 who have graduated from high school. It teaches job skills training, gets students involved in the community and pays for courses at Klamath Community College. Students work in business at Clean Sweep janitorial and at JO2GO coffee carts at the Klamath County Library Bookie Joint and the KCSD district office.
The students celebrated at the event on June 8 are (right to left): Ty Dougan, Alex Flores, Kaleb Lakey and Stephan Williams.
KCTP Program Facilitator Randy Denson introduced each student at the Independence Day event.
Denson said Ty only missed three days in his three years at KCTP. He has recently been offered a job with janitorial maintenance at a local law firm.
“We’re very excited for his success,” Denson said.
KCTP is working on getting Alex a job at a pizza restaurant. Denson noted Alex is known for his skills at the Dance Dance Revolution arcade game.
“He has three records in three different towns,” Denson said, “and I think that qualifies him as a professional.”
Kaleb is hoping to get a job stocking and loading at a big box store. He has worked at the JO2GO coffee carts while at KCTP.
“He’s one of the best baristas at the coffee shop,” Denson said. “Whatever business gets Kaleb Lakey is going to have an incredible worker.”
While working at JO2GO and Old Town Pizza, Stephan has been earning credits toward a general education degree at Klamath Community College. He plans to pursue a career in criminal justice. His dream job is designing and building wheelchairs.
“To help people use those wheelchairs to fit their life,” Denson said, “instead of their life fitting the wheelchairs.”
Denson said the KCTP and its staff will continue to work to create a lasting experience for students.
“Can we guarantee employment? No. Can we guarantee total independence? No,” he said. “We can guarantee that in three years our students attend transition, we can provide them with an experience of having fun, trying new things and opening different opportunities students can cherish and can propel them to later success in life.”
Press release provided from Samantha Tipler, Public Relations, Klamath County School District.