Annual Breakfast Celebrates Hard Working Students

Annual Breakfast Celebrates Hard Working Students
Posted on 05/27/2019
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Amelia Murphy and Matthew Harrison, along with 72 other students, received medals and baseball hats when they were recognized at the annual Work Study Student Appreciation Breakfast.Seventy-four students were recognized for their hard work and dedication to their jobs through Lakota’s Work Study program on May 16 at Wetherington Country Club. The students were celebrated by their families, job coaches, instructional aides and district staff.

The program, which has been in place for over 30 years, continues to grow each year.

Donna Haury has been leading Work Study through Lakota’s Special Services department since 1991. “I started with 14 students working at three job sites and now have about 110 (students),” Haury shared. The students work at 42 job sites throughout West Chester and Liberty townships, some for just a few hours and others for longer periods. “​We focus on the employability skills that will help a student as he or she transitions towards competitive paid employment,” she explained.

“We are able to watch our students grow into young adults through Work Study and we are grateful to our community partners who support this program,” said Andrea Longworth, Executive Director of Special Services. “Many of our students have found permanent job placement as result of this program.”

Jay Harrison is pleased that his son is part of Work Study. “He is learning social skills and a work environment,” he said. Matthew Harrison, a sophomore at West, has worked at two job sites this school year: the Lakota West candy store and TJ Maxx. The skills students learn include following directions, social interaction, working at a competitive pace and producing quality work. While most students enter Work Study in 10th grade, some begin as early as junior school. “This program helps prepare students for life after high school and what that may look like,” said Harrison.

Amelia Murphy, a senior at Lakota East, has been part of the program throughout high school. While she has worked at a few different locations during her tenure, her favorite assignment has been working at Lakota’s Central Office.

In addition to honoring Lakota’s students for their achievements in the Work Study program this year, a representative from the Cincinnati-based Lovis Foundation was on hand to recognize a special Lakota student. Jeremiah Collins, a student at Lakota East, was honored as this year’s recipient of the Lovis Foundation Hero Award. Nominations are received from throughout greater-Cincinnati about students who have the heart of a hero. “(Jeremiah) always has a ready smile and loves to work!” said Haury. “He has an excellent work ethic and tries his best to always get his work done.” Jeremiah spends his mornings working in the cafeteria at Independence Elementary School. During the afternoons, he is a greeter at FitWorks. Although he was unable to attend the breakfast, he received a resounding round of applause by the attendees.

This is one of Longworth’s favorite events each year. “This breakfast is a celebration of all of the personal growth and maturity of our young adult students with disabilities.”

Pictured above: Amelia Murphy (left) and Matthew Harrison (right), along with 72 other students, received medals and baseball hats when they were recognized at the annual Work Study Student Appreciation Breakfast on May 16.