LIFT Program teaches independence

Alhambra Unified School District's LIFT students are making a big impression in Alhambra. The four-year program, LIFT: Learning Independence for Transition, is designed for adult students with disabilities and teaches life skills and job skills. The students enrolled in this program work hard to become as independent as possible.

 Students in the LIFT program gain work experience through volunteering and participating in internships in the community. When given opportunities, these students prove that they are capable and dependable. They demonstrate a strong work ethic, loyalty, and desire to be productive. Many worksite supervisors appreciate the diversity these students bring, which leads to a more positive work environment.

 “Not only do they get the job done, but LIFT students arrive at work sites with the kind of optimism and cheerful outlook that is infectious,” said Transition teacher Kathleen Doyle. “LIFT students make a positive impact at work sites throughout the community. They add value and enhance operations, while bringing their own unique talents, skills, and abilities.”

 Organizations that provide work experience for LIFT students include Alhambra Superior Court House, YMCA West San Gabriel Valley, Atherton Baptist Homes, Alhambra Unified School District’s Central Kitchen, Party City, and JoAnn's Fabrics.

 Recently, LIFT students have begun internships at the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce. At the Chamber of Commerce, students perform a variety of tasks such as preparing materials for mailing, assembling items for events, shredding, filing, organizing, and light cleaning. With the help and support of job coach Michael Dergar, students working at the Chamber contribute in a meaningful way. Working together with office manager Irma Hernandez, Mr. Dergar has developed internship positions that use students' unique strengths while meeting the specific needs of the Chamber of Commerce.

 “LIFT's foremost goal is to help students become contributing members of the community,” said Mr. Dergar. “The internships and volunteer opportunities that community businesses and organizations offer demonstrate there is a place for everyone in a diverse city such as Alhambra.”

Dec 2021


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