Students with disabilities find career paths with SEAL program

Students with disabilities find career paths with SEAL program

LUBBOCK, Texas -

 

The Summer Earn and Learn program, or SEAL, provides work for students with disabilities. They have responsibilities and earn money in a career they're interested in.

Jonathan Jordan has worked at Crown Point Health for two summers, "I had no social skills whatsoever. But now I'm able to talk freely," he said.

He used to struggle to make eye contact or start a conversation. According to his supervisor, Veronica Knott, the difference is night and day from when he started. She has been a part of SEAL since it started in May 2017. She knew immediately it would impact the students.

"You have to believe in these children. It's just letting them know that it is OK and it's OK to sometimes fail," the HR Director at Crown Point Health said.

If Jordan wasn't in the program, he said he would spend his summers playing XBOX and working out.

"Nobody would actually give me that chance, I would just be like a normal face in high school doing like burger flipping jobs. But now I feel like I can actually have a career and provide for my family," he explained.

According to Donnie Gatlin, the Vocational Rehabilitation Manager at Texas Workforce Solutions, three students have been offered full-time jobs after completing a summer with a local business.

"It's also minimizing the fear of disability. We always fear what we don't understand. I think when employers and customers see that a person with a disability can do the same thing that everybody else is doing, they may just do it a different way, then it adds awareness to the community and the business," Gatlin said.

Jordan is 21 and enrolled at South Plains college. He's studying Physical Therapy and Kinesiology.

"They actually gave me a chance to learn and develop my skills," he said.

According to Gatlin, more than 2,500 students across Texas are finding their career paths with the help of SEAL.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • New Mexico firefighter hurt in firework explosion dies at 46

    New Mexico firefighter hurt in firework explosion dies at 46

    Fire Apparatus Operator Jeff StrobleFire Apparatus Operator Jeff Stroble
    Fire Apparatus Operator Jeff StrobleFire Apparatus Operator Jeff Stroble
    The Roswell Fire Department announced the passing of Fire Apparatus Operator Jeff Stroble.
    The Roswell Fire Department announced the passing of Fire Apparatus Operator Jeff Stroble. 
  • UPDATED: Five arrested, charged in recent overnight shootings

    UPDATED: Five arrested, charged in recent overnight shootings

    Tyson Isaac, 18, is charged with aggravated assault.Tyson Isaac, 18, is charged with aggravated assault.
    Tyson Isaac, 18, is charged with aggravated assault.Tyson Isaac, 18, is charged with aggravated assault.
    A highly coordinated effort, from multiple law enforcement agencies, has led to arrests linked to the two overnight shootings that occurred on July 16, and July 17, 2019. These shootings resulted in several injuries and one death.
    Anti-gang investigators have arrested five men for two shootings they say were related. All five are 21 or younger.
  • John Gatica files application for Slaton Mayor

    John Gatica files application for Slaton Mayor

    John Gatica has formally filed his bid for Mayor of Slaton.
    John Gatica has formally filed his bid for Mayor of Slaton.
Powered by Frankly