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Galt Herald

Career-Prep Award Winner Lands Job at Ace

Jun 06, 2024 11:32AM ● By Matthew Malone
School to World [3 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
GALT, CA (MPG) - The 28th annual School to World award ceremony on May 22 gave disabled students an opportunity to celebrate their progress toward joining the workforce. Special recognition went to a student whose efforts led to a job offer.
Organized by Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) and Galt Joint Union High School District, the event featured 58 students in two of the organizations’ programs: WorkAbility and Transition Partnership Program. The initiatives are designed to help students with disabilities transition from school into the workforce or postsecondary education.
“This morning, we gather to recognize you, students, for your effort and hard work,” said Shawn O’Briant, a Sacramento County Office of Education vocational specialist. “From learning to search for jobs to writing resumes and filling out applications, you participated in mock interviews or supported interviews, and some of you, your first independent interview. And finally, you participated in and completed the work experience with one of our many local-area business partners.”
O’Briant congratulated the students who received their first job; he noted that their job might change as their working life continues.
“Being willing to try new work (and) jobs and gain experience is an important part of job development. This trains us to develop skills that support growth and promotion or decision-making that leads to career advancement or change,” O’Briant said.
He recognized the businesses and organizations who provide work opportunities: SETA Head Start, South County Services, Plush Puppy Dog Grooming, Hope for Horses, Nina’s Flowers & Gifts, Estrellita Culinary Arts, Life’s a Grind, Galt-Marian O. Lawrence Library, Denny’s, CVS, Golden Living Center, Dry Creek Ranch Golf Course, Galt Market, Fifth Street Salon and Ace Hardware of Galt.
O’Briant and Georgina Cantero, the district’s Transition Partnership Program coordinator, called students forward one by one and gave each a certificate.
Afterward, O’Briant named the recipient of the School to World Award, Liberty Ranch High School student Dallas Weller, who has taken part in WorkAbility for three years.
The award recognizes a student who has shown perseverance in overcoming obstacles while also meeting their school requirements.
“He (Weller) is recognized by his teacher and school staff as an outstanding student. … He’s shown remarkable growth and commitment and has been a hard worker in each of his work experiences over the past few years,” O’Briant said, announcing that Weller received a job offer from his latest work experience location, Ace Hardware.
Coming forward to speak, Weller expressed gratitude for his selection and he thanked administration, business owners and classmates for attending the ceremony.
“While working at Ace Hardware, I’ve learned about front-facing, stocking and how to communicate with customers. I have gained a lot of skills working and a lot of life lessons,” Weller said.
Ace Hardware manager Adam Lawrence told the Herald it was “incredible” to see his future employee win the School to World Award. He said the recognition speaks to Weller’s progress since coming to Ace Hardware.
Lawrence said the Galt store participates in WorkAbility because he enjoys bringing out people’s potential, and WorkAbility allows students to develop work skills such as stocking, product knowledge and customer service. He said confidence is the biggest benefit that students get from their Ace work experience.
“I get so many students that … I may not get more than a couple of words out of them in an interview, but by the time we have an exit interview with them, they’re telling me all about what they’ve experienced, both in the store and outside of the store,” Lawrence said.
In his concluding remarks, O’Briant encouraged the students to “continue to work hard.”
“Don’t count on luck; make your own. Find your talents and pursue your interests and invest in yourselves,” O’Briant said. “You’re worth it. Work hard every day to reach your goals and do your best every day to do your best every day. If you do that, you won’t need luck but we wish you the best of luck anyways.”