Brent, a local high school student, wanted to build his future. His OVR transition counselor and school district referred Brent to Blueprints’ Work Based Learning Experiences (WBLE) program, which Blueprints offers in partnership with The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Work Based Learning Experiences are designed to assist 14-21 year old high school students with disabilities with 90-hour paid placements with local employers in the community.  The students receive valuable work experience, along with an hourly stipend and realize their potential to succeed upon high school graduation.

Next, Brent’s caseworker Lee, scheduled an initial appointment with Brent and his family.  When they met, Brent was willing to try any type of placement because it was going to be his first time working on his own.  Lee had recently met with a company called Sunny Bridge Natural Foods. Brent’s family was interested in this placement because it was close to Brent’s high school and residence. Brent began his placement at Sunny Bridge Natural Foods in May 2017.

Throughout his placement, Brent gained valuable skills in customer service and inventory management, and was able to participate in other key store operations.  When Lee would check in with Brent’s supervisor once a week, the supervisor informed Lee that he was impressed with Brent’s work ethic and his attention to detail.  Lee remained in contact with the family throughout Brent’s placement and informed them of other Blueprints programs that might benefit them. Brent completed his placement in August 2017.

Brent’s WBLE placement assisted him with obtaining a job at Target as a customer service associate, where he currently works. A senior in high school, Brent was recently accepted to Slippery Rock University with the help of Blueprints’ Postsecondary Transitions program. Brent also enrolled in the agency’s Matched Savings Account (MSA) program where he’ll receive a $2 match (up to $4,000) for every $1 he saves towards the cost of his college education.

Because of Lee’s knowledge of programs and communication with Brent and his family, he was able to engage Brent in multiple Blueprints programs that will assist Brent with his immediate future and into adulthood. We were happy to co-design Brent’s future with him and our imprint on his life has made and will continue to make all the difference.