Eric, a former HDS B.R.I.D.G.E.S. student, came to share his post-secondary journey with the class. Eric’s decision to defer his graduation and enroll with ARC Broward School of Higher Education has proven to be an excellent experience. Through this program, Eric has not only grown socially but has also found meaningful employment. His visit to the HDS B.R.I.D.G.E.S. class brought valuable insights and encouragement to the students, showcasing the possibilities that lie ahead. 

ARC Broward’s School of Higher Education offers a comprehensive program designed to empower individuals with developmental disabilities. Eric highlighted the Community-Based Instruction field trips as a key aspect of the program, enabling participants to receive valuable job training with the support of dedicated job coaches. These trips expose students to various workplaces, equipping them with the skills necessary for success in the job market. 

Eric emphasized the many opportunities provided by ARC Broward. Participants benefit from exposure to job fairs, mock interviews, self-advocacy training, workplace etiquette, water safety classes, and engaging social outings. This holistic approach prepares individuals to thrive in a professional environment while also fostering personal growth and self-confidence. 

Currently employed at Burger King, Eric shared the pros and cons of working at a fast-food restaurant. One of the main challenges he faced was navigating the intricacies of the cash register, particularly locating certain items like kids’ meals and ice bags. However, with the support of his colleagues and manager, Eric persevered and learned to navigate the register effectively. His dedication and resilience are a testament to the transformative power of ARC Broward’s program. 

Eric spoke about the most rewarding aspect of his job at Burger King: receiving a paycheck. The financial independence he has gained through employment enables him to meet his needs and allows him to indulge in purchasing his favorite items. Eric’s excitement resonated with the students, serving as a reminder of the possibilities that await them beyond their time at the HDS B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Program. 

Kaitlyn, one of the students in the class, took a moment to express her admiration for Eric’s public speaking skills and encouraged him to be proud of his accomplishments. Her heartfelt words reflected the impact Eric’s visit had on the students, motivating them to believe in their own potential and the possibilities that lie ahead. 

The students expressed their heartfelt gratitude to Eric for taking the time to share his post-secondary experiences. His visit served as a beacon of hope, proving that with dedication, perseverance, and the support of programs like HDS B.R.I.D.G.E.S. and ARC Broward, they, too, can embark on successful post-secondary journeys.