Last week UpaDowna was lucky enough to have some extra help around the office. As most of you know, last month UpaDowna made the move back to our original stomping grounds in Manitou Springs. Moving, while still maintaining our programming and preparing for our Indy Give campaign can be a bit overwhelming, luckily senior students from Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind (CSDB) swooped in to save the day, not once but twice, helping us to get organized! We are so thankful for their help.
The students who came to help us were members of the Senior on the Job Training Program at CSDB. As a part of this class, seniors learn from teachers at the Employability Center essential skills that they will need upon entering the workforce after graduation. One of the really cool parts about this program is that it provides extensive hands-on experiences. The senior students learn skills in the classroom, like handling money or properly folding t-shirts, and then they get to visit local organizations and help out. It becomes a reciprocal exchange both for the students and the organization – the students get to learn about the organization and gain valuable hands-on work experience and the organization gets a lot of help! Here at UpaDowna, the senior students volunteered their time on both Tuesday and Wednesday and they organized our shed, our bus, our Library of Adventure, gear bins, shoe donations, office drawers, and paperwork. They also helped to count donation money, fold t-shirts, stamp envelopes, and sort maps! A lot of help, huh?!
Having the senior students come and help us was not only fun, but it also gave us the opportunity to get to know them and learn about their goals and dreams for the future. The students were bright, inspiring, and always ready for the next challenge. Towards the end of their second day of volunteering, a few of them asked about possibly interning and working for UpaDowna after they graduate which we were absolutely ecstatic about!
Overall, we had an amazing time getting to know the students and they were so incredibly helpful! Below are some photos from the two days the CSDB came to help us! We hope to continue building our relationship with the CSDB and hopefully even have some students work for UpaDowna one day!