Envision Success Project
Career Exploration for Young Adults
The Envision Success Project (ESP) was launched in March 2017 by the Polus Center, one of the MA Commission for the Blind's Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) programs for students who are legally blind. Participants tour a variety of businesses and careers that might be of interest, learn workplace readiness skills, and participate in internships, projects, and other paid work experiences.
Here's a sample of this year's tours!
Where is our classroom? Everywhere!
The Envision Success Project (ESP) is an action learning experience for young adults who are legally blind. We travel to businesses and workplaces of all kinds to explore what working there might be like. We visit with people doing the job, ask questions, try out some activities. Then we discuss, as a group, over a good meal somewhere near where we just toured. What did we learn about that occupation? What would we like about doing that job? Is this something we would be interested in doing or not? What skills are required and how would you get them? For many people with vision challenges (as with us all!), the social activity of dining out is a skill unto itself, as is getting there and back. ESP invites people with and without disabilities to join our tours and discussions, making these experiential activities meaningful and memorable.
Internships and projects
The Envision Success Project is a very person-centered approach to career exploration. We begin with interviews at the students' homes, with their families, to begin to understand who they are and what might be of interest to them. We structure the tours and what they do for paid internships/work experiences around individual student interests. This summer, two sisters interested in film production, who took interest in the story of Louisa May Alcott when they toured Fruitlands Museum, worked with a professional videographer to make a film about Louisa May Alcott. This included writing and singing their own song to accompany the film. Others did more traditional first work experiences at Family Dollar, Sodexo Food Services at UMASS Hospital, and two were offered paid positions at Holy Cross College.