Students at Knapp School and Yeshiva experience skill building in many ways! One area of focus, especially for our middle and upper school students, is employment. We believe planning and early preparation for successful entry into the job market is crucial.
Students are eligible to receive employment support through the various services and programs offered within Knapp School including a school and community job program. Carrie Patterson, Work Development and Employment Specialist, is in charge of job programming and oversees students as they develop their skills. Additionally, students benefit from direct support through a partnership with another part of JCFS Chicago – JVS Career and Employment. Student can get help with resumé building, skill inventories, mock interviews, and direct support through the interview stages.
Steven, a current Knapp student was hired for seasonal work, starting two weeks prior to Thanksgiving at a local Target. After the holiday season, he was one of two people out of the 25 seasonal hires that the company kept as permanent employees.
“It’s not an easy job, and one that many clients shy away from,” shared Leora Mincer, an Employment Specialist for JVS. Leora began her work with Steven in the summer of 2019 and is proud of how far he's come. She shared how the partnership between Knapp School and JVS allows for optimal collaboration, leading to client success. “After Steven began at Knapp School, I saw a shift in his motivation. The structure and consistency of the school partnered with our supports seemed to provide Steven the tools he needed to gain confidence. After our work together, we felt he was really ready… and it turned out he was!” Leora continues to support Steven from a distance, staying in touch with him and his teacher when it’s needed.
Steven's mom also shared her gratefulness for the support he received. "Together, these two have helped my son reach the next level. Steven refuses to miss a day of school unless very sick. JVS continues their work with him while at school. He is responsible, proud, and motivated with work and school. This is a direct result of the work both [programs] have done with him."
Steven shared that he noticed a change in himself after attending Knapp School. “The way you get help here is different. The flow of the school and the friends here are different. People are here to help me learn strategies to work on things.” When asked what he enjoyed most about his job he shared, “I like making money and I like my coworkers.” Steven’s team continues to be proud of the work he does. For any questions regarding our employment supports, please reach out to Carrie Patterson, Knapp School Work Development and Employment Specialist or call 773-467-3734.