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The Community-Based Vocational Assessment and Training program gets students career ready

The Community-Based Vocational Assessment and Training (CBVAT) program provides work-based learning opportunities for students with disabilities to acquire entry-level skills to transition from school to community. Students develop skills in business, technology, construction, production and customer service, and each of these skills aligns with Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month.

CTE Month occurs every February and celebrates the achievements and accomplishments of students, teachers, partners, and programs including CBVAT. One student from each high school was nominated by program leaders to be featured. 

Yousef Al-kulaidi, Junior at Maple Grove Senior High School

Yousef Al-kulaidi loves to learn and has a deep appreciation for the variety of jobs he has been able to do in the CBVAT program. One of his favorite roles in the PAES lab, a career training program, is working the cash register. This role is helping him to prepare for his part-time employment at Leeann Chin. 

Al-kulaidi also works in the 279er Diner at the Educational Service Center where he practices working with a team to prepare food and handle money. Throughout the program, he has also explored his interests in art and technology. He hopes to someday combine these interests in a career related to game design and programming. 

“I’m probably going to go to technical college. It will be more similar to this. Not everyone goes to a four-year school, and my sister and brother go to community college already,” Al-kulaidi shared. 

Mylove Jackson, Junior at Park Center Senior High School

Mylove Jackson enjoys helping customers in the 279er Diner. She started working in the diner in 2021, and she connects the skills she has gained to her future goals.
“One of the things I like is meeting new customers and learning how to speak up,” Jackson said.

Jackson applies her love for working with people with her love for technology. In CBVAT, she has been able to tap into her technology skills. She was even able to take what she learned to help fix one of her friends' phones. 

Jackson is currently a junior, and after she graduates, she plans on attending culinary school in Minnesota where she can combine her intersecting interests. 

Miracle Kromah, Senior at Osseo Senior High School

Miracle Kromah has worked on a lot of different projects throughout her time in CBVAT. Kromah shared about past projects she worked on including gift bags, firestarters, and bird feeders, all which have helped her in her placements.

Two times a week, Kromah helps out at the media center at Zanewood Community School where she restocks shelves and helps students check out books. She also works in one of the kitchens, both which she equally enjoys.

Kromah said, “When I came here, I was kinda shy, and then I started to open up.”

The hands-on experience has helped her to learn more about herself and has uncovered other interests in fashion and photography.