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Special Ed. Department’s Transition Fair Helps District Families Prepare for Life after High School

Special Ed. Department’s Transition Fair Helps District Families Prepare for Life after High School
Posted on 02/04/2015
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Fair Connects Families with Local Agencies

Pasadena ISD held its annual Transition Fair Jan. 28 for students involved in the Special Education program.

The annual event attracted nearly 460 attendees including 170 students, parents and representatives from over 30 local community service providers who packed into the cafeteria at Pasadena High School to raise awareness about options available for students ready to transition to adulthood.

“We often find families are not aware of services available to them,” Tamera Walker, the special education specialist and event coordinator said. “This event uplifts families and lets them know they are not alone and there are helpful resources available in their own neighborhood.”

Sponsors and vendors put up displays at each table ready to provide information and answer questions about their services. Representatives shared information about educational opportunities, vocational training programs, employment, independent living opportunities, rehabilitation services, recreational options and other resources to help students gain independence. Local agencies, schools and organizations in attendance at the event included Telemundo Houston, ABC Dental, Adaptive Recreation for People with Disabilities, the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitation Services, BBVA Compass, Harris County MHMRA, Harris County Transit (RIDES), Next Step Transition Center, the Social Security Administration, Pasadena Special Olympics, and the University of Houston.

Excitement filled the air at the end of the night during the door prize giveaway. Thanks to several sponsors including Chick-fil-A, Mi Tienda, Taqueria Arandas, Cinemark Movie Theatre, Peter Piper Pizza, and Massage Envy, several lucky students went home that night with fun prizes and brand new iPads.

The event’s top sponsor, Shared Resources Credit Union, sent one lucky student home with an LED 32” TV.

I read an article in the paper Monday and decided that our Credit Union and our philosophy matched perfectly with the Transition Fair and what it meant to the community,” Stephanie Salazar, CEO of Shared Resources Credit Union said. “This was very personal to me because of a family member that has autism who is doing fabulous in sixth grade and was told he wouldn’t. I am just a true believer that with a community, parents and a loving atmosphere everyone will succeed with the help of each other. That’s why we wanted to be part of this.”

Collin Cooper brought his son, Mark, a Rayburn High School junior, to the fair to see what all the buzz was about. After talking to representatives, he realized he was in the right place.

“This event has helped us out with finding out about the transition between high school and the real world,” Cooper said. “I didn’t know that all these programs even existed. They are incredible and it makes a world of difference for my family.”

Transition Fair 2015
Pictured: Special Education Department team members Tamera Walker, Mary McCorvey, Joshua Castro, Nikki Fontenot, Julie Reed, Reba Brown, Tracey Balusek, Erika Francis, Kathryn Higginbotham-Jones and Michael Kaemmer.

Transition Fair 2015
The Special Ed. Department presented a certificate of appreciation to top sponsor Shared Resources Credit Union. Pictured: CEO Stephanie Salazar, Jennifer McDaniel, Erica Alonso, Pasadena ISD special education specialist Tamera Walker, and Jennifer Key.

Transition Fair 2015

Transition Fair 2015

Transition Fair 2015

Transition Fair 2015

Transition Fair 2015Transition Fair 2015

Transition Fair 2015

Transition Fair 2015

Transition Fair 2015

Transition Fair 2015