By Mark Satterwhite
Javion, pictured in between two Boone Hospital employees, was one of five high school students to successfully complete their senior year in the Seamless Transition through Enhanced Partnership (STEP) program. Javion and fellow participants held internship positions in various departments at the hospital, starting and ending each school day in a classroom on site.
STEP is a collaborative partnership involving the Columbia Public Schools (CPS), Boone Hospital, Alternative Community Training (ACT), Vocational Rehabilitation, Missouri Department of Mental Health Central Missouri Regional Office, and Boone County Family Resources. The program combines classroom education with immersion in an employment setting, where participants build skills for work, post-graduation. CPS provides a teacher and an aide, and ACT provides a career specialist and skills trainers who are involved not only at the hospital, but also in supporting participants in their vocational quests beyond STEP. All partners contribute resources and meet regularly, supporting each other in supporting the participants, throughout the school year.
In a celebration ceremony held May 12 at Boone Hospital, each of the participants took the stage to describe their experiences and share what they learned, as well as about their future ambitions. Javion was particularly excited in sharing that he has a paid job lined up at Boone Hospital. “I look forward to working here,” he said. “It’s a good place to be.”
Read more about Javion’s success through STEP.