AIP stu­dents grad­u­ate first in 2016

Adult In­de­pen­dence Pro­gram stu­dents grad­u­ate first in 2016

Maryland Independent - - Sports B -

Defin­ing your own suc­cesses and hav­ing the courage to move forward in life were just two of the im­por­tant key mes­sages shared with grad­u­ates and guests at Charles County Public Schools’ (CCPS) first official 2016 grad­u­a­tion, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease. On May 20, eight grad­u­ates of the Adult In­de­pen­dence Pro­gram, also known as AIP, were hon­ored for their suc­cesses in a cer­e­mony held at North Point High School that cel­e­brated each of their in­di­vid­ual ac­com­plish­ments.

Hon­ored grad­u­ates this year in­cluded Crys­tal Ad­kins, Ni­cholas Adri­ani, Elisha Frim­pong, Isaac Green, Stephon McClel­lan-Dempsey, Robert Mullins, Tisk­isha Ro­bi­son and Alice Whit­ney.

At the start of the cer­e­mony, the grad­u­ates walked in front of an au­di­to­rium filled with guests to take their seat on the stage. These stu­dents were ready to cel­e­brate one thing they all had in com­mon — the com­ple­tion of their AIP stud­ies. In the same mo­ment of time when each grad­u­ate took the stage, the group shared some­thing else with each other that day: a smile that beamed from ear to ear and a strong sense of ac­com­plish­ment. The ex­cite­ment of these stu­dents to cel­e­brate their lat­est ac­com­plish­ment was on full dis­play.

What made the cer­e­mony unique was the recog­ni­tion of each grad­u­ate by guest speaker Adri­ane Faulks-McCann, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. Faulks-McCann is the founder of Aaron’s Hope Inc., a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion she launched sev­eral years ago to help com­mu­nity mem­bers with autism learn the skills nec­es­sary to be suc­cess­ful within the work­force. Prior to the open­ing of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, Faulks-McCann worked as part of the AIP pro­gram and serves as a home and hos­pi­tal teacher for CCPS.

Dur­ing her re­marks, Faulks-McCann shared her mem­o­ries of work­ing with the grad­u­ates and re­flected on their AIP ex­pe­ri­ences.

“You are my mo­ti­va­tion. My hope. Hope is the heal­ing which leads to op­por­tu­nity and the pos­si­bil­i­ties that em­power. And here you are — I com­mend you for hav­ing the courage to keep mov­ing. You are all awe­some,” Faulks-McCann said to the grad­u­ates.

She talked about Ad­kins’ abil­ity to “dress to the nines” and ad­mired her for her com­mit­ment to be­ing a team player. She de­scribed Adri­ani as a pa­tient and gen­tle per­son who loved to gift her with hand­made ear­rings.

“Your per­se­ver­ance is strong Nick. You keep on push­ing through,” Faulks-McCann said to Adri­ani.

She de­scribed Frim­pong, who goes by Eli, as a “tall glass of awe­some” and an ex­tremely dedicated worker, and said if you ever wanted to hear the truth from some­one to go and talk to Green. “He tells it like it is,” she said.

Af­ter grad­u­a­tion, McClel­lan-Dempsey plans to work at the Arc of South­ern Mary­land, a place Faulks-McCann said his skills will serve him well. “You are one of the most de­tail-ori­ented peo­ple I know,” she told him. Mullins also plans to work at the Arc of South­ern Mary­land and was de­scribed by Faulks-McCann as a gen­tle­man who loved to com­pete in track and field events and work as part of a team.

Ro­bi­son and Whit­ney are well known among AIP staff for their love of help­ing oth­ers and for be­ing kind and con­sid­er­ate. Whit­ney plans to work at the Spring Dell Cen­ter and Ro­bi­son will con­tinue her em­ploy­ment through Cre­ative Op­tions, a pro­gram that as­sists com­mu­nity mem­bers with dis­abil­i­ties in tran­si­tion­ing into em­ploy­ment and other skill-based train­ing pro­grams. “This is the be­gin­ning of defin­ing your own suc­cesses,” Faulks-McCann said in her clos­ing re­marks.

Prior to the hand­ing out of diplo­mas, Christina Sprague, a CCPS in­struc­tional spe­cial­ist who works with stu­dents in AIP, told the grad­u­ates to cel­e­brate their ac­com­plish­ments and to re­mem­ber there are peo­ple who will al­ways sup­port them.

“We are very proud of your ac­com­plish­ments and are proud to have had the op­por­tu­nity to work with you over the last three years. You are not alone and have a whole com­mu­nity here to sup­port you,” Sprague said.

AIP pro­vides stu­dents with com­mu­nity-based learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences that give each stu­dent the skills of an in­de­pen­dent adult. Through­out the du­ra­tion of the pro­gram, which is de­signed for stu­dents ages 18 to 21, stu­dents ac­quire adult skills and ap­ply them to com­mu­nity en­vi­ron­ments.

Stu­dents in the pro­gram are trained to search for em­ploy­ment and to complete job ap­pli­ca­tions, as well as how to ac­cess the public trans­porta­tion sys­tem. There were 13 par­tic­i­pat­ing em­ploy­ers in the 2015-16 pro­gram.


Charles County Public Schools hon­ored eight stu­dents in the Adult In­de­pen­dence Pro­gram, known as AIP, dur­ing a grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony held May 20 at North Point High School. The AIP Class of 2016 in­cludes stu­dents, pic­tured from left, Ni­cholas Adri­ani, Robert Mullins, Isaac Green, Tisk­isha Ro­bi­son, Crys­tal Ad­kins, Stephon McClel­lan-Dempsey, Elisha “Eli” Frim­pong and Alice Whit­ney.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.