Opportunity for Success Program
The goal of Goodwill’s Opportunity for Success program is to connect youth with career exploration opportunities in internships/volunteer/employment experiences. Goodwill’s core service is to prepare youth and adults for work and to link individuals with community resources to further their ability to increase their future earnings gain. Goodwill’s strength is its intensive employment counseling services which ensure that each individual’s barriers to employment are explored and an appropriate plan is developed to move to employment in an area of interest and ability. Goodwill has a Business Developer that works directly with the business community to customize jobs for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Goodwill has strong partnerships with other community organizations that are used to link individuals to appropriate community resources.
Goodwill’s youth programs target youth with disabilities attending Carroll County high schools and Frederick city high schools in underserved areas. The youth have a range of disabilities and some are not expected to receive a high school diploma.
Youth in the program have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. As a result, they may have focus issues, processing issues and a lack of writing skills. The students demonstrate difficulties understanding how to navigate public transportation; being on time; understanding customers and co-workers; and filling out job applications. Many have trouble comprehending lecture driven instruction and will need to work in small groups for job readiness training to include individualized attention for some tasks.
The program includes these key components:
- Discovery of youth talents,
- Need for support,
- Early linkage with Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS),
- Work based experiences throughout school, and
- At least one paid job before leaving school