Photo shows a woman with long hair and glasses smiling for the camera Strong connections, like the one between Living Resources and St. Vincent’s Preschool in Albany, can lead to meaningful opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The preschool has been accepting interns from The College Experience (CEP) since 2013.

During National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), we are highlighting those we support who are making a difference in the workplace. Meghan is one of those individuals. Her path in childcare started at St. Vincent’s last spring. While a CEP student, she interned there from January to May 2023 and says the lessons she learned there set her up for continued success.

“It was nice to talk with the teachers and get to know them before the kids came into school. I had a good relationship with them,” says Meghan, “I learned how to work with different types of kids. It prepared me for my next job.”

Meghan now works at the YMCA’s Afterschool Program at New Scotland Elementary School, in the Albany City School District. She says she enjoys working with

Photo shows a woman wearing a blue YMCA staff jacket. She is standing behind a table, with various toys around the room. A banner on the wall behind her reads, "New Scotland Elementary School. No Place for Hate. 2022-2023."

Photo shows Meghan at her current job at the YMCA Afterschool Program

 

older kids and her experience at the preschool gave her important insight into her desire that her career be focused on supporting those no younger than three years old.

St. Vincent’s has programs for children between the ages of three and five. It is focused on play-based learning, so director Eileen says having an extra set of hands helps.

“I want children working with everybody,” she explains, “It is best when they are introduced to all types of people at a young age. It opens their world to more inclusivity.” Eileen says she and the rest of her team enjoy working with the interns, teaching them how to set up for and clean up after each of the day’s activities. She says the job coaches, who work with the interns, have been wonderful partners in this on-the-job learning.

Current CEP student Ella just started her internship at St. Vincent’s this fall. She says she was excited to land the role because she heard great things about it from Meghan, who is her friend. “I like being around the kids,” Ella says, “I like seeing how they act around each other. I am learning multi-tasking, time management, and about classroom routines.”

Living Resources’ College Experience and Employment Services programs work in collaboration to prepare young adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities or other life challenges to pursue careers of their choosing, supporting them every step of the way. Learn more by visiting https://livingresource.wpengine.com/services/employment-services/ and https://thecollegeexperience.org/