Dutchess County Students Learn What’s Next After High School

  1. A student and parent attend the Transition Planning and Resource Fair and hold bags of promo items and brochures.
  2. Staff of the Ramapo for Children's organization sit at a table during the CBS Transition Planning and Resource Fair
  3. CBS Transition Coordinator Jennifer Havrilla and Westchester County Executive Marcus Molinaro at the Transition Planning and Resource Fair

A Transition Planning & Resource Fair hosted by Community Based Services (CBS), in partnership with Dutchess County, the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, and ThinkDIFFERENTLY at Arlington High School on May 25 was well attended. Families with students in schools across Dutchess County who have IEPs and 504s attended the fair and learned about opportunities and resources available to them as they begin to plan for the next chapter of their children’s lives.

The fair was a timely event welcomed by families who are just beginning the daunting task of figuring out a plan for their children once services and supports they have been receiving come to an end upon graduation from high school.

“Transition planning can be overwhelming, and many families don’t know what options are available for their children or what services they will be eligible to receive. The CBS transition planning team assists students and caregivers in navigating the systems of care to meet transition goals. Our mission is to increase awareness of options for career and vocational pursuits, higher education aspirations, day programs, and resources available to individuals with disabilities in Dutchess County, so every student has the supports they want and need and caregivers have a partner in the process, ” says Transition Coordinator Jennifer Havrilla.

 

A student and parent attend the Transition Planning and Resource Fair and hold bags of promo items and brochures.

Attendees at the fair hold bags of information and promotional items, including a mini salad bowl grown at Cultivating Dreams Farm

While at the fair, families learned more about CBS’s transition planning services. The program, for high school age students with disabilities, offers families a streamlined process of learning about transition planning, community resources, OPWDD eligibility, and supports available after graduation.

Staff of the Ramapo for Children's organization sit at a table during the CBS Transition Planning and Resource Fair

Ramapo for Children were one of the many community organizations present at the Fair.

In addition to CBS, Ramapo for Children, Dutchess County ThinkDIFFERENTLY, Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board, Dutchess County Medicaid office, Prospector Theater, NY Able, Dutchess BOCES, Think Jobs, Smart Staffing, Devereux, Care Design, LIFEPlan, WHID Assistive Technology, Attorney Melissa Dizon, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Good Reasons, Access-VR, and Think Ahead DCCC were the community organizations present at the fair to help families learn about opportunities and steps involved in planning for life after high school.

Families learned about the following opportunities:

  • Transition Planning Services
  • Career and Job Services
  • Day Programs
  • College and Continuing Education Programs
  • Guardianship
  • And more!
CBS Transition Coordinator Jennifer Havrilla and Westchester County Executive Marcus Molinaro at the Transition Planning and Resource Fair

CBS Transition Coordinator Jennifer Havrilla (L) and Westchester County Executive Marcus Molinaro (R)

Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, who launched the ThinkDIFFERENTLY initiative, was also at the fair.

“As a father of a child with autism who is now entering adulthood, I know just how important events such as the Transition Fair are for families and their loved ones. Our ThinkDIFFERENTLY initiative was created to make our community a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals of all abilities, and we are proud to partner with organizations such as Community Based Services who share our vision and continuously bring needed support and resources to those living with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” says Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro.

The Transition Fair is paid for in part by Dutchess County through an Agency Partner Grant.

For more information about the Transition Fair, contact Transition Coordinator Jennifer Havrilla via jhavrilla@commbasedservices.org or 914-236-1128

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