Via Community Connections
Teen Summer & Winter Experience
Comments & Success Stories
“Our daughter really enjoyed the variety of activities. She loved volunteering with Meals on Wheels, swimming with her new friends. The staff at Via interacted with us and our daughter and made us feel welcome. Our daughter had a really great summer.”
A Unique Program Providing Real Life Experience
We would like to thank you for a wonderful summer our son Evan had at Teen Summer Experience. He had a great time and always went to and came from the program with a smile. It provided him with the opportunity to experience a variety of social interactions in different settings and honed skills that would prepare him for future job interest. Being a summer program, it mixed fun with work.
A program like this is so unique in that it provides real life choices unlike any other, in well-managed settings. The staff was professional and detailed feedback was provided daily, which is helpful in explain the likes and dislikes of our son.
We were satisfied with the program and will be enrolling Evan in it for next summer. It would serve as a model program for statewide usage, by giving clients and their families a feeling of purpose and usefulness. We are so glad we found Teen summer Experience.
Barry and Jo-Anne Walakovits
“We really liked the job and volunteer opportunities and the staff were very nice. The Via staff really seemed to know my son after he attended just a few times. I am definitely interested in my son coming back for future summers.” ~ Parent
Valuable Opportunities to Become Included Members of the Community
My son Tyler has attended Via Teen Summer Experience for the last two summers, each summer participating for six weeks. It has been an amazing learning and maturing experience for him. Tyler is an 18 year old, happy energetic teenager who is challenged with autism and mental retardation. He has done well progressing in school but his learning has been mostly limited to the classroom environment and his time to transition from high school to adult life is quickly approaching.
Via introduced Tyler to a new and different world of leisure activities, fun events, employment coaching and job training with his peers. As the weeks have gone by during this summer program, these activities provided Tyler with new opportunities for community connection and inclusion. Each day when Tyler returned home, you could see not only his enjoyment with the activities, but also a growing confidence in having a greater connection to the community. It was very reassuring to know when I took Tyler to this program that he was energetically welcomed by the staff who were so willing to work closely with all these teenagers – they have such dedication, patience and confidence in this summer program.
As challenged children get older, there are fewer opportunities and service available to address their needs. Via Teen Summer Experience was perfect for Tyler, and I’m sure for dozens of other children with a wide range of challenges. Via clearly engaged each of them on an individual basis.
Via and their staff should be commended for this Teen Summer Experience Program -- this program gives valuable opportunities to young challenged teens to become included members of our community, and we are very excited for the 2010 summer program.
“There is no other program like this for teens with disabilities in the Lehigh Valley. Via Teen Summer Experience helps students develop life skills they need as they make the transition from high school to adult life. Students learn about their community, do career shadowing and mock interviews with HR reps from companies like Olympus and Martin Guitar, and volunteer at organizations across the Lehigh Valley.” ~ Via Staff
For more information, please contact:
Meghan Larkin, Teen Program Coordinator
610-317-8000 x483 | M.Larkin@ViaNet.org