As of today, we are excited to announce the beginning of a new initiative: the Campus-Career Connection (C3) Project. Thanks to a grant from PolicyWorks and the Susan M. Daniels Mentorship Fund, PYD will be collaborating with the University of California to pilot an e-mentoring program for college students with a disability.
This e-mentoring program will focus specifically on career-readiness, matching students with adult professionals currently working in their field of interest. The goal is to help youth make a successful transition out of college and into the workplace.
C3 is a combination effort between our National Center and Mentor Match programs, and matches will officially begin in the Fall of 2014.
The full press release issued by PolicyWorks is available below.
Washington, DC – PolicyWorks, Inc. is pleased to announce the first grant from the Susan M. Daniels Mentorship Fund. The $10,000 grant is awarded to Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) to support the Campus-Career Connection (C3) Project, which aims to improve employment outcomes for college students with disabilities. Despite increasing levels of higher education, youth with disabilities still face serious obstacles in pursuing careers, with fewer than half of college graduates attaining fulltime employment within five years of graduation.
An innovative project that blends traditional mentoring principles with state-of-the-art technology, C3 will link college students with disabilities to mentors, with and without disabilities, in their professional field of choice. Activities will include one-to-one mentoring, group peer mentoring, and a series of online workshops and tutorials specifically designed for students with disabilities transitioning into careers. PYD will host an accessible web portal and social media site, provide e-mentoring training, and track user activity to evaluate the project’s impact on employment outcomes.
PYD is partnering with the University of California to pilot C3 on the Berkeley campus. The goal is to develop a model that can be replicated at colleges and universities nationwide.
The original idea for C3 came from Roxane Duka, alumna of UC-Berkeley and Associate Director of Business Development and Strategy at the Gerson Lehrman Group. Based on her personal experiences as a college student, intern, and successful professional, Ms. Duka shares the vision of Susan Daniels – that offering professional mentoring opportunities to college students with disabilities will enhance their self-confidence and soft skills and improve their ability to transition to meaningful careers. Ms. Duka will serve as a key advisor to the project.
The goals of C3 align with the mission of PYD and the Susan M. Daniels Mentorship Fund and address one of the critical challenges in the field of youth transition. The initial stage of the project will start on December 1, 2013, with mentoring services scheduled to roll out on the UC-Berkeley campus by September 1, 2014.
About the Susan M. Daniels Mentorship Fund. The Mentorship Fund was established in 2011 to carry on the legacy of Susan Daniels, one of the most effective and respected disability champions in the U.S. A passionate advocate for helping youth and young adults with disabilities connect to meaningful careers, Dr. Daniels was both instrumental in launching mentor programs and a lifelong mentor herself. The Fund spotlights and supports mentoring programs that enable young people with disabilities to become productive, independent citizens. A Mentorship Advisory Committee, composed of experts in the field from across the country, is guiding the Fund’s activities. Learn more about the Fund at: http://disabilitypolicyworks.org/susan-m-daniels-mentorship-fund/.
About PolicyWorks, Inc. The mission of PolicyWorks is to develop and apply innovative practices to make policy work for people with disabilities. PolicyWorks seeks to foster a national dialog and build collaborative partnerships that maximize public, nonprofit and business sector resources to support equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency of people with disabilities. As one of its key initiatives, PolicyWorks provides operational support for the Mentorship Fund. Learn more about PolicyWorks at: www.disabilitypolicyworks.org.