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Focus on College and Career Preparation


Occupation: Cook

Education: Bachelor's Degree

Like many New Jersey students, Ann wanted to go to college after high school. She struggled with learning in high school and was classified with a learning disability. She needed specially-designed instruction in order to pass her classes. In her senior year, Ann was referred to the Paterson office of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS). Ann shared her dream of attending college with her DVRS counselor and together they developed an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

Ann wanted to pursue a culinary career, and with the assistance of DVRS she was able to attend Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island. Ann advocated for the accommodations she needed in college, and took advantage of new and exciting learning opportunities. She studied a semester abroad in France and worked in a summer internship program in North Carolina. During summer breaks, she worked in a supermarket bakery to strengthen her skills and gain experience. In May 2014 Ann proudly graduated with a Bachelor's degree. This past summer she worked in the kitchen of a summer camp and in September she began working in Disney World. Ann has demonstrated the ability to advocate for herself and secure the accommodations she needs to do her job. She is well on her way toward a successful career.

DVRS provides ongoing counseling and support to help people with disabilities gain integrated employment based on their interests. When warranted, DVRS provides support to those who need college in order to reach their employment goal.