Hi everyone! I’m Mindy and I’m an intern here at LVCIL working with Seth and Micha on S2L and other transition and leadership related projects! I’m a junior at Muhlenberg College, right down the road from LVCIL. I am a Psychology major and am working towards my Elementary Education Certification (in other words, I’m going to be a teacher for Pre-K to 4th grade).
I found LVCIL through a program called Best Buddies. Best Buddies pairs college students with community members that have intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate it one on one “hang outs” and fun group activities. My buddy’s name is Ally and she is the reason I like Best Buddies so much! Best Buddies events are my favorite part of the month because I know I’ll get to see my buddy and we always have fun together. This past month we went to Best Buddies “Throw Back Party” where we watched Footloose, tie-dyed, put a note in a time capsule, and looked at a timeline of Best Buddies’ past events. Later in the month we went to the Valentine’s dance with DeSales University—and we had a BLAST dancing the night away!
As a part of my internship, I’ve been attending S2L meetings. In January, we brainstormed ideas for the group’s goals for the upcoming year. The young adults in S2L had so many great ideas that it made voting pretty difficult. No one wanted to give up any of the great ideas but there are only 24 hours in a day so there is only so much we can do—and learning to make decisions and prioritize is one important independent living skill that takes a lot of practice and the S2L group goals is a great place to start. When the results of the vote were revealed, I was upset to see that so many of the fun social events are going to be during the summer and fall after my internship ends! I look forward to attending S2L meetings because the young adults have so creative and have so many thoughts to share during each group discussion.
Spending time at S2L meetings and my internship with LVCIL has opened my eyes to the world of Transition Services that I did not know much about before—and in the past few months, I’ve learned so much! There are so many resources out there to help young adults with disabilities transition from school to the work force such as OVR and Project Search in addition to all of LVCIL and S2L’s services. I’ve also learned about all of the things that S2L is involved—and the list is quite long because they have accomplished so much! S2L has its own microbusiness called “TreatS2Love”, selling the dry ingredients of cookies and soup in ready-made packages, and its own vlog (a video blog) called “S2Lelevision” where young adults interview various members of the community about transition and transition related services. These are all phenomenal accomplishments that my peers without disabilities haven’t even come close to accomplishing!
As a junior in college, I have written a resume and worked on various projects in leadership roles but there is still so much more for me to learn before I can become a “real person” in the “real world” (and get a job!) after graduation next year. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have a group of my peers like S2L to guide me through the process and teaching me skills such as cooking or how to do my taxes. These issues of transition that the young adults in S2L face are the same ones that my peers without disabilities face, so despite the differences between these two populations—there is much more in common between them then there is different.