Learning to Earn

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Kevin Urban

From Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation

Kevin Urban has strong math and foreign language skills, earned several college credits while still in high school, and loves creating visual art. Through his participation in Nebraska VR Pre-Employment Transition Services he also learned a lot more about himself. He learned how to speak up for himself, knows he is not a fan of chaos or change, and says he is a hands-on and visual learner.

Kevin participated in group activities with Pre-Employment Transition Services Specialist Rita Meier and other Central City High School students where they discussed the employability skills required in a work environment, interviewing skills, and employer expectations. This was in preparation for several work-based learning experiences designed to explore the world of work.

At a job shadow at RBR Graphics in Central City, Kevin learned about the variety of products they make and sell ranging from signs, banners, and automobile wraps. While learning about the steps they take to begin a new project and how the equipment works, he noted he liked the independent nature of the work. He also toured the Central City Veterinary Clinic where he learned about care for companion animals like cats and dogs. He saw the corrals for keeping and treating large livestock. While he quickly understood this particular industry was not for him, he said it was nice to get insight on what happens in another field.

Kevin had an opportunity to earn a student assistant internship in the school media center at Central City High School where he developed listening skills, practiced following directions, and learned to keep on task. This helped prepare him for a paid work-based learning experience in the community that aligned with his career field interest.

The Alice M. Farr Public Library in Aurora, Nebraska was host for a work-based learning experience in the summer of 2019. Kevin appreciated the quiet environment, liked the job duties, and enjoyed helping library patrons with their resource or technology needs. He enjoyed helping with the summer reading program for children where he passed out craft supplies, cleaned up afterwards, straightened shelves, and kept reading tables tidy.

By the end of the work-based learning experience, Kevin solidified his career goal and decision to begin academic transfer program at Central Community College to obtain an associate of library science degree. He has plans to continue on to complete a bachelor’s of library science degree online through the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Kevin is not afraid to put in the work to be successful in the future. He attended a two-week Summer Transition Program held at the Nebraska VR Service Office in Grand Island. The workshop included group exercises where students were assigned a household budget and had to make choices for housing, transportation, and grocery spending. Employer expectation discussions were also among topics covered.

This post first appeared in Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation’s Transition Works newsletter.


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