PWCS Transition Fair Empowers Families, Students with Disabilities for Life Beyond High School

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Provided by PWCS

The 24th Annual Transition Fair organized by Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) brought together students, families, and community partners to explore a wide array of resources and services as they plan for transition to life after high school.

Attendees gathered for the fair at Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School to learn, connect, and prepare for the next chapter in their lives. The fair offered a variety of sessions and workshops.

Post-secondary planning was one of the key areas of focus, where students and families explored post-high school pathways, including college, vocational training, and employment opportunities. Experts shared insights to aid informed decision-making.

The critical role of health and financial support was underscored in various sessions and “tiny talks.” Participants were educated about eligibility, benefits, and application processes for Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.

Supported employment was another significant area of discussion. Tailored job opportunities were presented, emphasizing individual strengths and interests. Attendees were guided on ways to find meaningful work.

Various agencies, organizations, and community partners offered valuable information and connected attendees with essential resources. These included Didlake, Northern Virginia Community College, The Arc, Prince William County Community Services, and I’m Determined, a project that focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior.

Karen Bussenger and her daughter Reagan, a student at Forest Park High School, attended the Transition Fair for the first time this year. Their goal was to explore the various resources available for young adults, including the I’m Determined project.

“I’m going to come back again next year, and then again, so by the time my daughter is ready to get out of school and move on to that next step, I know what that transition is going to look like,” said Bussenger.

The event kicked off with inspiring keynote speakers, including Kendal Swartzentruber, education coordinator at the Virginia Department of Education, and Cesar Dulanto III, a former Woodbridge High School student and state youth leader who shared his journey and determination.

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