YNS Employment Academy, Semester 1 (October 2023-February 2024)

During the 2023-2024 year, we offered our flagship Your Next Star Employment Academy as a semester-long program that met once a month from October through February. Serving 8 job seekers with Down syndrome ages 18+, this unique workshop series allowed the group to dive deeper into topics, reinforcing skills during and in between each session.

Our PwC partners joined us for the January workshop to discuss personal branding and elevator speeches. For the first time, program participants were also given the opportunity to design their own business cards to reflect their personal interests and preferences. These tools will assist this group of job seekers as they continue on their employment journey and reach out to employers within their communities.

To wrap up the semester, the group traveled to Boston to tour The Revere Hotel, investigating the inner workings of a hotel and exploring jobs available in the industry. The tour began in the lobby at the front desk. Then, the group visited housekeeping, the engineering department, and the restaurant before finally landing in the kitchen where they dawned custom aprons and baked banana cookies from scratch under the guidance of the head chef. Throughout the visit, our crew of job seekers showcased the skills they had learned throughout the Academy, practicing their elevator speeches and using SHEEP (smile, handshake, enthusiasm, eye contact, posture) to introduce themselves to staff and department heads.

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