Education Matters: Set for Success


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A summer program called Set for Success is helping students with special needs get work experience.

“I will stock these one by one, make sure they don’t have to reach all the way back there,” says Toney Orr, student.

Toney Orr is one of several students who showed us what a day on the job is like at Baptist Health. He’s getting real work experience thanks to a partnership between school districts like PCSSD, businesses and Easter Seals.

“It’s very exciting for us to be able to work with these young people and to mentor them and show them how to work,” says George Desiderio, Sodexo Director of Retail Operation.

Set for Success helps students with social skills and gives them real life experience outside the classroom which can hopefully lead to a job after high school. For Robin Dunlap, she finds this kind of opportunity life changing and something she can’t teach in the classroom.

“When they do a real job and interact with the community and they have a set of responsibilities and somebody else to respond to besides their teacher and their parent, they see the significance in their work,” says Robin Dunlap, PCSSD Life Skills Teacher.

Robin says her kids take pride in what they do and it’s made a big positive difference in their lives.

“Every one of them returned to school with just a new sense of determination. They knew now they were capable of work and what that work felt like,” she says.

“I hope that I can take a lot of lessons from this opportunity and hope I can use it in a different job site,” says Toney.

An experience that’s building future leaders, who are gaining valuable skills and confidence.

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