Walk a Mile in My Shoes Workshop on November 16th
Do you know someone with a learning difference? Would you like to understand how they experience the world?Learn More
“I don’t want to leave!” shared Edward, a young adult and recent graduate of RISE TEAM. We had the privilege of sitting down with Edward and hearing about LDS’s impact on his life and learning.
Edward joined LDS for a short time when he was in Grade 1. He wasn’t a confident writer, but he improved tremendously after getting one-to-one specialized support. “Grammar-wise, I wasn’t great, but ever since joining LDS, I became a lot more confident. My writing has improved exponentially. LDS has made a very big impact on not just how I write but how I think about writing. It’s been amazing!”
Edward also improved his math skills and better understood the subject. “With LDS, it just felt calmer and less chaotic than it would have been. A big thanks to LDS for making my life much easier”.
Edward rejoined LDS as a teen participating in RISE TEAM. This included one-to-one instruction and paid work experience. He said it was his most fun job yet. He felt supported and increased his communication and writing skills. “RISE TEAM was a huge stepping stone in my life. Now I know what to put down on a resume. I’ve built my confidence, and now I know ‘I can do that.’ I’m not backing down from challenges. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without LDS,” he said.
Edward participated in a 3-month paid working experience as part of RISE TEAM. He was part of the LDS team, greeting students, parents, and visitors, answering calls, helping create learning materials, joining events, and helping do outreach in the community.
He improved his professional skills (e.g., answering the phone professionally and learning to use a timesheet for the first time) and worked on his interpersonal and social skills. “On my first day working at LDS, I was very nervous. I used to get anxious talking to people. But I was put in the right spot and had to learn. I am a lot more confident with my speech and making my own connections. My communication skills are now top-notch, I’d say.”
“One of the most impactful things about my time at LDS has been the connections I’ve built. The support I received from everyone, their welcoming personalities, and the easygoing nature of the staff and other students have had a profound impact on me. It’s hard to put into words, but these small things have made a big difference in my life.”
Edward’s next steps are to apply for LaSalle college for culinary arts or fashion design. He advised those who may be hesitant to ask for help. “It’s ok to ask for help! Talk to somebody and resolve issues. It is a lot better than doing nothing. I would definitely recommend getting help.”
The RISE TEAM program combines LDS Research-informed Individualized Student Education (RISE) with additional Training to advance their Employability, Abilities, or support Matriculation (TEAM). This innovative employment readiness program and paid work experience helps teens with learning differences transition from high school to paid employment, training, or higher education.
Thanks to generous donor funding from the United Way, LDS has spaces for students in grades 10 to 12 to complete the RISE TEAM program this school year.