In my 17 years of teaching special education I have had the opportunity to impact many students. In those same years, there have been students who have impacted my life as well. One example is this guy, JO. He has pushed through many barriers; physical barriers, language barriers, educational obstacles, limited access, and equity barriers. I have been fortunate to witness and support JO as he has become an advocate for his family, himself, and his education. JO is a Career Technical Education (CTE) Ambassador, paving the way for students receiving special education services to access Career Education pathways.
Studies indicate that special education students that participate in CTE courses are less likely to drop out of school, increasing their opportunities to graduate. Additionally, participation in CTE provides the education and training which leads to an increase in full time employment and higher pay.
JO is taking full advantage of CTE courses and participating in experiential learning. Courses include cyber security, drone application, mass media, and business courses. JO participates in classes that connect real world issues with concrete learning opportunities, and his take away are 21 Century skills that he can use to extend his learning & apply in the work place.
JO is a shining example of a motivated student pushing through barriers.