Mission Transition 

Young people with disabilities from Penobscot and Piscataquis counties gathered today at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor to learn about resources.There were workshops, experts, and vendors there to teach the students about their options after high school.The mission is to help young people make the transition from high school to the real world.Cindy Tuck, a coordinator with the Maine Transition Network, says it’s important for those with disabilities to know how to get the help they need when it comes to getting a job or going to college.”Youth need to know what the expectations of college are and then once they know that they also need to know how to advocate for themselves in order to receive the assistance they need, so they can be successful at college.”John Ford, a student attending says, “It helps me realize how I can speak out.”There were workshops for the college bound students as well as those headed for the workforce – like how to dress for success.”If you don’t know how people get jobs and if you don’t know, like what you’re supposed to wear for appropriate attire, you’re not going to get the job and people with disabilities need to know that.” says Karianne Rogerson, a student.Representatives from trade schools, vendors, and agencies were on hand to offer advice. Many students there were involved with Vocational Rehab. “They help a lot of people who can’t live on their own and who can’t, maybe don’t go to college or can’t make it through college.” Rogerson says.Seminars like this are happening across the state… Funding from the Department of Labor has made it possible for five divisions of Mission Transition to hold fairs this spring. Organizers say, the most important thing for students to take away is knowing they have to be their own advocate.