In the Spring, Olivier Brien, HAC Cafe Chef and philanthropist, approached the Hockessin Athletic Club with the idea of beginning a partnership with the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) to help children with special needs learn important job skills as a part of their curriculum.
After meeting with Patti Cuiffetelli, a Vocational Specialist at the Child Career & Development Center within the CCIU, we determined that HAC would be an excellent fit for the children. On September 12, 2013, the 8 students set to begin working at HAC came for a facility tour and luncheon (group photo pictured below) to meet their new managers and get a feel for their new environment.
The students will work 1-2 three-hour shifts per week, in the cafe, grounds, housekeeping, the ProShop, maintenance, and administration. While at the facility, the teens are accompanied by a job coach who oversees their responsibilities and guides them through tasks. Our first group of students will be at HAC through December, completing 16 weeks of work training that will help them meet their requirements for graduation.
The students have been so positive and eager to learn, which has helped make the transition so easy. While HAC Managers decide what work is to be done by the students, it has been resassuring to have the job coaches on site to help with the learning experience.
The team at Hockessin Athletic Club is pleased to be involved in such an important part of our community, it has certainly been a rewarding experience for all involved. We look forward to our involvement with CCIU and the students, and expect a second semester of students to begin in January.
For more information about the CCIU, its mission, and its services, visit http://www.cciu.org. For more information about the Discover Program at HAC, contact Mike Givler at 302-239-6688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.