October 2021

by Wendy Xia, Field Associate

On August 18, 2021, we were able to host an in-person work readiness event for high school students with special needs and young adults with disabilities. This was my first outside activity since I joined CIDA in February 2020, so I was very excited to prepare for the event and chaperone the students to the Old Navy store in College Point. Although I didn’t have much experience working with teens and young adults with special needs, my colleagues, Mijung and Rehemia made me feel confident about the event. It is such an amazing feeling to be working with a team that is in sync.

Joseph and the Old Navy team had prepared a great program together, and the activities included the office visit, interview preparation, and community activities. It was so heartwarming to see that every student participated eagerly and enthusiastically and impressed the Old Navy team and us. From displaying new design, Space Jam collaboration, to shadowing office jobs, there was something that excited everyone. My heart filled with joy seeing everyone succeed.

When people with diverse abilities get the opportunities to participate, they have so much potential to succeed, but unfortunately they often do not even get the opportunities. I look forward to hosting many more events like this to help youths with disabilities access meaningful career opportunities and help local businesses experience the amazing talent that people of all abilities bring.