Summer Youth Work Experiences For Students With Disabilities

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(Columbus) – Summer Youth Work Experiences for students with disabilities are underway throughout Ohio. The program provides students (ages 14-21) with a disability the opportunity to explore the world of work and gain on-the-job training.

Photo from Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

Approximately 2,600 students across the state are participating in summer jobs, with additional younger students being supported to explore and prepare for their first job experiences.

Summer work experiences help students build confidence and learn essential skills in a job setting. Youth are assigned to work sites based on their interests and abilities, and safeguards are in place to promote health and safety. While working at job sites, students receive support from a job coach and earn minimum wage. 

Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) give students with disabilities, as early as age 14, an early start in exploring career interests. Five core services include Job Exploration Counseling, Work-Based Learning, Counseling on Post-Secondary Opportunities, Workplace Readiness Training, and Instruction in Self-Advocacy.

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) Director Kevin Miller said, “Summer Youth Work Experiences build job awareness, skills, and self-reliance. These experiences give students with disabilities a foundation for a great career.” 

OOD works with 106 vocational rehabilitation providers throughout the state to offer Summer Youth Work Experiences. “Providers are key to the success of this program for students,” explained Jay Burns with the OOD Provider and Contract Management Unit. “They provide structure, help students practice accountability, and offer meaningful feedback.”

Chelsea Ashcraft is the Assistant Director of Employment and Community Based Services at Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries. She explained, “For over a decade, Goodwill has partnered with OOD to provide a work experience opportunity to youth within its community. This experience is a paid work opportunity that allows participants to identify interests, abilities, and preferences while obtaining new skills and knowledge on employment. Once the service is complete, the participant is provided service and support recommendations that will assist them in achieving success in future employment.”

If you have a child 14 years or older with a disability, reach out to OOD for more information on how we can help your child with career exploration, skill development, and strategies to get a job after graduation. Counselors begin talking with students and their parents about next summer’s opportunities starting in the fall. To find out more, visit the OOD Students 14+ webpage

Ohio Christian University Names Interim President

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(Circleville) – The Ohio Christian University Board of Trustees has announced their selection of Dr. Ron Smith as Interim President, according to an article on the OCU website.

Smith brings decades of experience in Christian higher education to the post. He will begin serving the university Monday August 8th.  The website says “Smith has had a burden for mentoring Christian higher education students, and for years hosted weekly meetings for spiritual growth and study with college and seminary students in his family home.”

In addition, Smith has served the local church as a youth pastor, associate pastor, senior pastor, and church planter. He is an ordained deacon and elder in the Greater New Jersey Conference of the United Methodist Church since 1982.

Currently, he serves as president of the Francis Asbury Society. Smith served The Francis Asbury Society from 1993–1998 as a Fellow and for two years as Executive Director. In 1998, he was elected as the fifth president of Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, MS, where he served for thirteen years. Upon retiring from the presidency, Smith rejoined The Francis Asbury Society in January of 2011, serving as Executive Director, as President, then as a speaker, a Board member, and in 2020 as President again.

Smith’s testimony and credentials led the board to a unanimous vote to appoint him as Interim President.

Adena Health & Kenworth Among Area Locations For Donating to Kentucky Flood Relief

Article Presented By Rathkamp Financial

(Chillicothe) – More locations in Ross County are stepping up in their effort to assist Kentucky flood relief victims.

Adena Health System, in partnership with Kenworth and with the assistance of Clary Trucking Inc. and Danny Herman Trucking, is taking its everyday commitment to community beyond Ohio’s borders to help affected Kentucky families begin the long road back to normal.

From 8am-4pm Monday, August 8, through Thursday, August 11, Adena caregivers and members of the community will have the opportunity to impact countless lives by bringing donations of badly needed items to the PACCAR Medical Education Center, 446 Hospital Road on the Adena Regional Medical Center campus in Chillicothe.

The donation site will be clearly marked outside the building to make dropping off items easy and quick.

Kenworth Truck Company will host donation sites on the same dates between 6am-8am and 2pm-7pm.

Items needed include cleaning supplies, paper towels, bottled water, large plastic totes, shovels, push brooms, toilet paper, to-go food containers, non-perishable food items and industrial trash bags. At this time, clothing donations are not being sought.

Monetary donations, however, are also being accepted online by visiting

“At Adena, we feel called to serve our communities,” said President and CEO Jeff Graham. “There are times and circumstances, however, where that commitment must be expanded to embrace those in need outside of our usual service area. This is one of those times. 

“As a Health System that provides care for several rural communities, we understand the extreme challenges the residents of eastern Kentucky now face. We also have seen the generosity and caring spirit of the residents of southern and south central Ohio firsthand and know that, together, we can have a tremendous impact in bringing some relief to those suffering from this tragedy.”