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A&M program promotes inclusive work opportunities for young adults with disabilities

Posted at 6:46 PM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 19:46:30-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Aggie Achieve with Texas A&M not only helps young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities earn their college degrees but also helps open doors for job opportunities on campus.

Rida Fasih grew up in the kitchen with her family and now she’s learning alongside some of the best in Aggieland.

”It means a lot to me," said Rida Fasih, a part-time pastry sou-chef. "All the chefs help me a lot with the baking and deli section with the sandwiches."

Fasih gains many skills in the kitchen but says she is most proud of the opportunities this can provide for others," she said. “They can teach other disability kids and I can teach them how to cook too."

Each semester the Aggie achieve students transition to a new job opportunity to gain a variety of different skills.

Callie Colgrove is currently employed at the MSC information desk as she works on her communication skills.

”I like to work here to meet new people and get ready for my future,” said Callie Colgrove, MSC information desk employee.

These jobs not only open doors for those with disabilities but also teach those without disabilities how much these young adults can do.

"That you would understand other people with special needs and without special needs to work together they would understand each other,” added Colgrove.

Now parents of young adults with disabilities also believe things are changing and more opportunities are available.

”The stigma has changed our kids are very structured when they do something they do it perfectly and it’s just amazing when they do get a job the employers are so blown away,” said Darla Dyke, director of operations for down syndrome association of the Brazos Valley.

As the Down Syndrome Association of the Brazos Valley promotes inclusive job opportunities as well their upcoming gala on May 7 will allow members interested to wait on tables for the night.