“Matt likes it, it’s very cool for him,” Neu said. “He can go on forever like this.”
Matt’s assistant Laura Culbert said the broom gives him a chance to work hard and make a difference while learning new skills.
It was a team effort to help.
“Every student was intertwined,” she said. “They listened to his input, my input, it was a total collaboration.”
Having Matt sweep the halls and other spaces around campus will give him valuable training for a possible foray into a real life job as part of the Work-to Learn mission at Pinkerton.
Right now, Matt is at a level where he is learning skills while on campus. The next Work-to-Learn level could place him in an outside work environment when he is ready.
Work-to-Learn has given many students like Matt a chance to try their hand in the real world of work and business.
Like an educational study in real life, students in the program find more doors opened for them as they make the transition from school to having a job, gaining acceptance and valuable life skills along the way.
A team of educators and Hadco Corporation management started the work-based program in 1991. Hadco became the first job site where students with developmental disabilities worked in a pilot program, earning credit by learning job skills as an employee on site, assisted by a mentor.
Many businesses around the region have been involved through the years to support the program including Woof Meow, Applebee’s, Wisteria Flower Shop, Big Lots, Wal-Mart, Pleasant Valley Nursing Center and several Derry schools.
Students enrolled in the program are honored each year during a “Star Awards” success night event.