California Career Innovations Success Story

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness MonthCalifornia Career Innovations logo (lightbulb)

The California Department of Rehabilitation partnered with San Diego State University Interwork Institute for a work-based learning initiative, the California Career Innovations (CCi).

The CCi initiative evaluates the effects and benefits of work-based learning experiences to prepare students with disabilities to enter post-secondary education and obtain competitive integrated employment.

Collaborations include local educational agencies throughout California, led by region managers from the Vallejo Unified School District, California State University – Los Angeles, Riverside County Office of Education, and San Diego Health Sciences High and Middle College.

The program identified students, between ages 16–21, with disabilities throughout these regions with Individualized Education Plans or 504 plans to participate in this project.

CCI aims to ensure a career-relevant focus in the attainment of competitive integrated employment and post-secondary education for students with disabilities.

Meet Sebastian and Alaysia, two students supported by CCi.

Meet Sebastian:


My name is Sabastian and I am 19 years old and I attended Health Sciences High and Middle College.

One of my previous challenges was trying to acquire a job. Another one was acquiring the skills necessary for success in college.

What helped me the most about CCi was having adults around by my side, encouraging me to attend training, and complete my academic tasks on time.

The workshops also showed me new skills that I can use in college and beyond.

Going to San Diego State University was part of my goal, and I believe I am on-track to accomplishing the goals I have set up for myself.

My future goal is to become an engineer and get a graduate degree. Whether that be electrical or some other form of engineering, I am sure that I will be able to advocate and gather the tools necessary to succeed.

Meet Alaysia:


Alaysia enrolled in CCi her senior year of high school in 2018. She struggled with ADD and staying focused when learning certain subjects.

Alaysia graduated from the Academy for Academic Excellence High School and currently attends California State University, Bakersfield and is currently pursuing her degree in sociology.

She is one of the first CCi students selected to participate in the California Department of Rehabilitation pilot internship. She has assisted with conducting a FAFSA Workshop, a virtual career day and is currently working on a workshop on independent living skills.

Alaysia is a rising star who is growing and learning how to balance career and work. There is no doubt that because of her work ethic, determination, and commitment to her goals, we will see more great accomplishments from her in the future!

California Career Innovations is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), grant H421B160006. The contents of this document do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Blog articles provide insights on the activities of schools, programs, grantees, and other education stakeholders to promote continuing discussion of educational innovation and reform. Articles do not endorse any educational product, service, curriculum or pedagogy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *