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New Internship Program Gives Chimes DC Student a Path to Employment

Just like every other high school senior, students with disabilities want to find purposeful jobs, develop lifelong skills, interact with their communities, and gain a sense of independence.

Chimes DC recognizes that young people enrolled in special education programs often encounter barriers to full-time employment—and we’re working hard to break down those barriers, so that high school graduates with disabilities can transition from education to the pride and dignity of employment.

In June 2022, Chimes DC launched a new employment training internship program for students finishing high school. The temporary, part-time, 6-month-long paid internship, implemented in collaboration with regional public school systems, provides young people with vocational skills training on various job sites throughout central Maryland.

Christopher “CJ” Hill is one of those young people. CJ interns at Aberdeen Proving Ground, where he’s mastering facilities maintenance and management, along with administrative skills that he hopes to leverage in his future career. CJ is learning, thriving, and making his family proud.

Abbe Restucci of Harford Public Schools, one of several school systems partnering with Chimes on this new program, says the internships available at both the Proving Ground and BWI–Thurgood Marshall Airport “cultivate students’ ability to self-advocate and communicate, develop their social/interpersonal skills, and foster their independent living skills.”

“An early start can be life-changing for [our students],” Restucci says, “maximizing their potential for future success and growth.”

And given how competitive the DC Metro area’s job market continues to be, the internship program is a win-win — for students and employers alike. As Chimes DC’s Employment Services Senior Manager Thomas ‘Jay’ Stewart points out, “With this program, Chimes DC is helping to pave the way for these young people and grow the workforce at the same time.”

It goes without saying—but we’ll say it anyway—that visionary initiatives like these are only possible with the support of generous friends like you. Thank you, from all our students, families, and partners for investing in our young people at such a critical time in their lives!

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