Fresno Unified's 'Workability' program provides adults with special needs opportunity to work

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Unified's Adult Transition Program allows young adults to take big steps towards independence. They're aptly named the ATP Trailblazers.

Special needs students here between the ages of 18-22 are getting their first taste of work experience. To qualify for the Workability program, you must be at least 16 with a 2.0 grade point average and be able to work independently.

"I'm working at 509. I do mopping, I clean the tables," Jessica Barrios works with Joseph Patino at American Legion Post 509, so they've learned to take the bus to get around town.

"I've been doing it for a couple of months, and I really enjoy it because they're really nice there and it teaches me a lot when it comes to job skills," Patino said.

In addition to helping them find work, the school also teaches the students how to wash their clothes and prepare meals.

"I think that's the key to being independent," said ATP manager Derrick Flake. "Being able to manage your money and that's something that every class works on."

Students learn the basics of shopping and also work on a simulated bank account.

They're also taught to budget the money they make by working a few hours a week.

"I actually save it," said Cameron Mao. "I'm actually saving my money to get something big that I really want to."
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