Families gathered for a reception at Calvary Baptist Church to celebrate the end of the 2019 Future Bound Summer Program on Thursday, June 27.
Future Bound is a division of Fayco Enterprises, Inc.
The transition program aims to empower individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities and is geared towards young adults who have graduated or are preparing to graduate from high school.
While Future Bound is a year-round program, the summer program is a four week course that runs three days a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
This is the second year for the summer program which aims to help fill the need for services for adults with disabilities and is funded in part by the Montgomery County 708 Board.
Transition services are direly underfunded yet greatly needed. Children with disabilities qualify and receive services throughout their time in the public school system but are often cut off from much needed services after they graduate from high school. This is due to a multitude of reasons including lack of funding and lack of availability, especially in rural areas.
Fayco's Future Bound program focuses on the areas of self-advocacy, independent living, job exploration, workplace readiness and work-based learning. Participants are able to attend job skills classes, are assisted with possible job identification in relation to their skill level and interests, job development training, post employment services and a job club, where participants build networking skills and share experiences.
While the program has a heavy emphasis on helping those with disabilities attain jobs, it focuses on more than just employment readiness. Participants learn about all aspects of transitioning into functional adulthood such as the importance of developing hobbies and recreational interests, appropriate social interaction and giving back and engaging in their communities. The program also focuses on helping participants achieve their highest level of autonomy by teaching general life skills such as cooking, budgeting, shopping, proper hygiene protocols, cleaning, laundry, making appointments and using the public transit system.
Trained staff members work with the participants to determine their individual strengths, needs, interests and independent living goals, to best help them make the often anxiety-inducing transition into adult life and personal independence.
The goal of the participants and program coordinators is that each member live a fuller, more well-rounded life in which they attain purposeful work, whether that be through employment or volunteering, and some level of autonomy and personal self-fulfillment.
This year there were eight program participants including Hunter Meyer, Joe Campo, Brendan Howard, Jason Vernish, Ben Wilson, Wyatt Spensberger, Kevin Payne and Dalton Tefteller. The participants varied in age from high school juniors to adults, with the older students taking on the role of mentors. Fayco Future Bound Coordinators Lois Curtis, Angie Brueck and Fayco Work Partner Coordinator Christa Pokojski were joined by summer assistants Cathy Johnsey, Mid State Special Education Transition Specialist Laura Snyder and student assistant Ronny Taylor in implementing the four week program.
Throughout the summer program, participants took trips to area businesses where they were able to learn about how different businesses operate, possible jobs and the skills needed to acquire them.
They were able to visit different community outreach programs where they learned how they could assist others and communal service departments such as the local library and fire station.
The participants were able to get hands-on experience on many of their trips, performing activities such as cooking, gardening, caring for animals and serving food. They even got a little leisure time when they visited Hillsboro's theater and bowling alley.
Several area businesses and organizations actively supported the 2019 Future Bound Summer Program including Ace Hardware, Calvary Baptist Church, Creekstone Kettle Works, retired art teacher Diane Singler, Fayco Enterprises, Inc., First Baptist Church of Litchfield, Hillsboro Fire Department (Tim Page), Hillsboro Public Library, Hillsboro School District (Principal Patty Heyen and Life Skills Teacher Lisa Lomprez), The Journal-News, Kate Wagahoff, Knisley's Hillsboro Bowl, Lincolnwood High School, Litchfield Job Center, Montgomery County Animal Shelter (Administrator Amanda Daniels), Montgomery County Public Transit, Montgomery Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (Administrator Carla Vondeerharr), the Orpheum Theater and St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Hillsboro.
At Friday's mid-morning ceremony, each of the program participants were given an opportunity to speak about their experience attending the summer program. Following the ceremony, the family members in attendance were treated to a brunch which was prepared by the Future Bound participants.
Employers who would like to find out more about getting involved in the Future Bound program, or those who would like more information on transition services may contact Program Coordinator Angie Brueck at 618-780-1817 or via email at email@example.com.