From grad to pro – Ashlea’s story
Ashlea describes herself as punctual, dependable, and reliable. Those who know her, including the CPRF School of Adaptive Computer Training staff, speak very highly of her positive attitude and strong work ethic.
We were first introduced to Ashlea when she began attending the SACT Business Fundamentals for Youth Program. Though the school originally opened for adults affected by the digital divide, we now partner with Unified School District 259 and Butler County Special Education Interlocal. Thanks to funding from supporters like you and contributions from the school districts, CPRF is able to offer morning and afternoon classes to help high school students like Ashlea earn high school credit and learn skills that enable them to pursue their college/vocational goals.
SACT staff looked forward to seeing Ashlea’s smiling face every day in class. Our classroom is ideal for students who use wheelchairs, walkers, or have other special needs. In addition to the fully accessible classroom, this unique program uses video conferencing equipment to connect with a remote learning classroom for students in Butler County.
Despite her diagnoses, Ashlea has not allowed autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder to define or limit her.
In fact, Ashlea excelled in our program. “Ashlea had excellent attendance and a fantastic attitude,” said Aaron McAnarney, SACT instructor.
The respect was mutual. Ashlea appreciated Aaron’s support, saying, “He’s a sharp guy. If I got stuck on a hard problem, he would help me.”
Ashlea completed our program in May 2014, earning Microsoft Office Specialist Certifications in both Microsoft Word and Excel along with two high school credits.
But Ashlea was setting even higher goals for herself.
While attending the school district’s Chisholm Life Skills Center, Ashlea was able to use her new computer skills to participate in Project Search – a business-led high school transition program that gives students a year’s worth of work experience. This workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations.
Ashlea’s training, internship experience, and determination to succeed resulted in a full-time employment offer at the Sedgwick County Treasurer’s Office. She takes public transportation to the courthouse every day and proudly passes through security wearing her badge. When asked what she is most proud of, Ashlea said, “I am most proud of graduating from Chisholm, receiving certifications from the SACT, and my full-time employment.”
When given the opportunity to learn and train in a supportive environment, Ashlea’s future changed dramatically.