Whitney SaxtonEvanston

During Whitney Saxton's senior year at Evanston High School she was referred to DVR by the Consulting Teachers at the Special Education Department. Early on in the vocational conversation of determining what type of employment Whitney would like, her mother said, "Whitney's real strength is working with individuals who have significant disabilities and also senior citizens."

Whitney possesses a good understanding of her disabilities and the extra support she's required to complete high school. She learned to advocate for herself and to also show compassion for others who are dealing with life's challenges.

Whitney had been served by an IEP all through her school years. After Whitney earned a high school diploma, her vocational goals included living independently in an apartment with support and also maintaining a part-time job.

When she applied for DVR services Whitney had never been competitively employed. Five years later, Whitney is working as a Teacher's Aide in the Special Education Department at Davis Middle School. Whitney works part-time, five days a week. Whitney possesses a good understanding of her disabilities and the extra support she's required to complete high school.Her job duties include assisting students with English, working with students in the learning lab, assisting with the school recycling program and also helping more significantly disabled students interact socially during lunch time.

Along the way to achieving her dream job, Whitney completed several different work experiences with various career goals. Then the opportunity was provided by the Special Education Department to provide a work experience for Whitney at Davis Middle School. A Job Coach was provided for a short period of time to help Whitney learn the duties of her job. Natural support was established through the school staff. DVR paid for a work experience for six months. At the completion of the work experience Whitney was hired as a teacher's aide to work specifically with the students who are more significantly disabled.

Whitney is a very strong asset to the school. She has used her strengths and interests to become employed in her dream job. She is not just employed, she has a career working with Middle School Students and making a difference in their lives.