Marymount University received the 2015 Jessica Burmester Volunteer Award last night from The Arc of Northern Virginia for the schools support of a series of workshops that help students with intellectual and developmental disabilities transition from high school. The award was presented at The Arcs annual membership meeting at the Columbus Club of Arlington.
With their incredible support, we have been able to provide almost 150 families with valuable programs for both parents and students, said Diane Monnig, The Arcs transition manager. We would never be able to offer such a successful program without the staff and students at Marymount.
The organization concluded the second year of its Transition Series on Saturday at Marymounts main campus.
Its an important time in the life of a person with an intellectual or developmental disability, said Rikki Epstein, executive director of The Arc of Northern Virginia. For a lot of families it feels like falling off a cliff. The transition series is a chance to share a huge amount of information on housing, employment and other kinds of things.
The full-day workshops were held monthly from September to November. Parental topics included special needs trusts, Medicaid Waivers, public benefits, employment, post-secondary options and transportation. The student track, for ages 14-26, offered a variety of skill-building activities, such as social and life skills, employment and travel training.
Hauth said Marymount education students practice skills such as lesson planning and teach practical things like how to ride the Metro.
Its a great way for our students to be involved in the community, and many of them have said its been a life-altering experience, Hauth said. Our students are learning just as much as the families and their students. Its all part of Marymounts commitment to community engagement and outreach.
The Arc held the workshops in a variety of locations before its partnership with Marymount, which was begun by Dr. Doug Ball, a now retired associate professor of education.
Whats even more meaningful than the space is the partnership with the Marymount professors and students, Epstein said. Our students gain so much and have the opportunity to be mentored.
Our students really enjoy being on a campus with young people close to their age, Monnig added. All the Marymount students are just so enthusiastic and energetic. The parents also love the environment, and it gives them peace of mind knowing that their kids are having fun.
In addition to education majors, Marymounts Counseling Department participated in the series, which will resume in September.
They actually had more students sign up than were needed, Epstein said. Theyve just been an amazing partner, and were so thrilled to honor them. We hope for and look forward to a long relationship.
Marymount University received the 2015 Jessica Burmester Volunteer Award last night from The Arc of Northern Virginia for the schools support of a series of workshops that help students with
intellectual and developmental disabilities transition from high school. Pictured from left, Diane Monnig, transition manager with The Arc of Northern Virginia, retired Marymount Associate Professor Dr. Doug Ball, Marymount student volunteers Maria Paredes, Stephanie Bedenk, Samantha Kehn and Amanda Hicks, Assistant Professor of Special Education Dr. Clara Hauth, Dean of Education and Human Services Dr. Lois Stover and Executive Director of The Arc of Northern Virginia Rikki Epstein.
Marymount University students and The Arc of Northern Virginia clients during a recent Transition Series workshop on campus. The full-day workshops were held monthly from September to November and offered a variety of skill-building activities, such as social and life skills, employment and travel training.
Students in The Arc of Northern Virginias Transition Series perform an exercise with Marymount University Students