Transitioning into adulthood August 2019



Contact: Jeanni Brosius -

Transitioning into adulthood

Students learn self-advocacy through work-based learning program

BATESVILLE, ARK—Maintaining employment is an integral part of adult life. Working gives a sense of accomplishment, worth and a way to become self-sufficient. Career planning may be challenging for some high school students who have disabilities or health-related issues that may give them a disadvantage.

The Career-to-Work Study Program will begin its third year this fall and is already showing a successful outcome. Through the program, specifically trained teachers go into the high schools and teach students with disabilities and disadvantages communication skills, social and interpersonal skills, and how to choose a career path.

The two-year program is geared for students who have an [Individual Education Plan] IEP, 504 Plan or other medical diagnosis. The students earn credit for taking the class, and there are also summer programs available.

“The program is federally mandated and funded and is not a grant,” says Angela Davis, president of Myers Davis Life Coaching. “We look forward to working as a team with the schools and parents to assist these amazing students in achieving their fullest potential.”

Partnering with Arkansas Rehabilitation Service Division of Arkansas Department of Career Education, Myers Davis Life Coaching has a team of qualified teachers, job coaches, benefits counselor and life coaches who work individually with the students to help choose a career path and to gain employment. The Myers Davis team is currently in 11 area school districts: Batesville, Southside, Midland, White County Central, Cave City, Cedar Ridge, Highland, Hillcrest, Izard County Consolidated, Mammoth Spring, Melbourne.

This program is also available for home-school students.

Students with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed adults than their nondisabled peers. They are also more likely to have lower paying positions and job dissatisfaction. A high percentage of disabled and disadvantaged students are likely to drop out of high school, compared to their nondisabled peers.

“Watching these students grow as they gain skills and confidence to go forward after high school and live healthy, independent lives as they reach their personal goals is our greatest reward in doing this program,” Davis says.

Stepping in and catching these students before they graduate high school, can help better prepare them for a viable career. A few skills that will help the students become independent and help them in their job searches are:

  • Writing resumes;
  • Interviewing skills, including mock interviews;
  • Filling out applications;
  • Searching for jobs;
  • Completing paperwork, such as W-2 and I-9;
  • Obtaining identification, such as photo ID and birth certificate; and
  • Money management and banking.

In addition to the skills needed to obtain employment, the program also offers:

  • Job exploration,
  • Work-based learning,
  • Counseling on post-secondary educational programs,
  • Work readiness training, and
  • Self-advocacy.

Through the work-based learning, the students get help obtaining employment—whether it be within the school district or out in the community—and the assistance of a job coach and life coach. The students are paid minimum wage.

This enables the students to learn work ethic, financial responsibility and self-assurance. 

Anyone interested in learning more about the program can contact the student’s high school counselor, or contact Myers Davis at 870-307-3234 or