Besides celebrating its 60th anniversary, Arc Broward recently celebrated their students in a graduation ceremony in June. Two separate ceremonies were held at the Sunrise Civic Center Theatre which began with the preschool commencement followed by the School of HIRE Education ceremony. The festivities concluded with a reception for the graduates and their supporters.
For six decades Arc Broward has been dedicated to providing services to children and adults with disabilities and other life challenges. The nonprofit organization has supported students as they work to reach their fullest potential. It was an exciting time as twenty-four preschoolers and seven students from the School of HIRE Education received their graduation diplomas.
“We are very proud in the success of our students. Watching them learn and grow is a rewarding experience for our staff, their families and friends who have supported them along the journey,” said Arc Broward President/CEO Dennis Haas.” Graduation is always an inspiring event.”One of this year’s graduates is Ewan. Since birth, Ewan has remained trapped in his own world. He has Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, a rare congenital condition that makes communicating with others almost impossible. Requiring a tracheostomy tube to breathe, Ewan has limited movement and is unable to speak, point, gesture, write, type or use sign language.
“Our experience at Arc Broward has been amazing. Ewan’s teachers the past four years have been so dedicated and loving. And the therapy team always go above and beyond,” said his mother Yasmin Vaeli.
In December 2014, thanks to the efforts of Arc Broward and a generous gift from Make-A-Wish of South Florida, Ewan and his family were introduced to a life-changing eye-gaze system allowing him the ability to communicate. As for the future, Ewan will be attending kindergarten at Bright Horizons in Deerfield Beach.
Since its inception in 2013, Arc Broward’s School of HIRE Education is an opportunity for students, ages 18-22, with developmental disabilities to obtain and sustain a career/workforce education, community-based instruction and independent living skills. A unique option for post-secondary students, the school provides them with the abilities to prepare them for a career after high school. The students are presented with four vocational track choices, including: culinary arts; warehouse/retail material handling; child and/or elder care; and office/clerical work.
Two HIRE Education graduates, Dianne and Dylan, have thoroughly enjoyed their experience in the school and are both grateful for their supportive teachers and the opportunity to make new friends. Dianne started after graduating from Coral Springs High School. “My favorite part of the program was learning how to find a job,” she said. Dylan began coming to the School of HIRE Education in 2014. He has enjoyed the field trips to job sites and summer internships.