Pre ETS & Youth Transitions
One of the things we enjoy most about working at LIFTT is Youth Transitions and having a young consumer come in who is unsure of himself and doesn’t have any idea of where to go in life. Our team of trained Independent Living Specialists have many resources at their disposal to help them get along and find a path that is not only going to work, but be a good fit for the consumer and employer.
LIFTT works with young adults ages 14-24 eligible for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), who have graduated or otherwise left secondary education to assist them in facilitating the transition from secondary education to post-secondary education and/or employment opportunities.
Services provided under youth transitions include:
- Referrals to vocational rehabilitation and other agencies
- Help to apply for housing and other benefits independent of the consumer’s family
- Help to apply for jobs and secondary education opportunities
- IL Skills training
- Self-advocacy training
- Peer mentorship
Is LIFTT successful in getting young people on the right path?
Recently, a teenager named Jeremiah needed guidance. He was an 18-year-old dropout who was unsure of his future. His sister contacted our Independent Living Specialist, Jen Hawkinson, to see if she had any suggestions on what programs or services were available that would help Jeremiah complete his high school education and get some career training. Jen met with him, his father, and his sister and discussed going to work on his HISET at Dawson Community College. As this is more of a self-driven program, Jeremiah wasn’t sure if that would be a good fit for him.
We discussed Job Corp and the opportunities that would be available to him there. He would be able to get his HISET and learn vocational occupations that he was interested in, such as mechanics and shop work. Jen helped him contact a recruiter with the Job Corp in Anaconda, Montana, who provided information on how to apply. Once the application papers were received, Jeremiah came into the office, and he and Jen filled them out together.
Unfortunately, the teen was also missing several documents Job Corp required, such as his birth certificate, social security card, photo ID, and school transcripts. Jeremiah did not have any idea where his birth certificate and social security card were so, Jen guided him to call Action for Eastern Montana, where he was enrolled in a youth program that they offered. However, in order to be in that program, documentation was required. Jeremiah was able to secure the necessary forms from Action. Jen then used a release of information to help him acquire his transcripts. Once everything was in place and the application was filled out and all the documentation was obtained, he submitted the Job Corp application and was accepted to the program. Jeremiah now has a goal for his future, and he admitted that before LIFTT, he did not have a future.
LIFTT is a not-for-profit agency governed by a consumer-controlled Board of Directors whose lives have been personally impacted by a disability. It is funded in part by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended in 2014 (Title VII- Independent Living Services), and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (Disability Employment & Transitions Division).
For more information, call (406) 259-5181.