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Hearne High School starts 'SOAR-EX' program, helping students with special needs to gain job skills

Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-26 18:48:34-05

HEARNE, Texas — Students at Hearne High School are “soaring” into a new opportunity — "SOAR-EX Service Center" is helping students with special needs gain job skills.

  • The program started in Fall 2023 from a Texas A&M grant.
  • The copying, printing, and laminating service is open to Hearne High School staff and students, with the hopes of expanding into the community.


Jayden Carroll is a busy senior at Hearne High School, taking another teacher-client for his job on campus.

“I go around to all the workstations and make sure they are doing it correctly," Carroll said.

Carroll is the Assistant Manager for the "SOAR-EX Service Center" — helping teachers and students with any copying, printing, and laminating needs. 

“Here goes our parent binders that we make,” Carroll said.

“They make business cards, they make marketing brochures, and they also do shredding — a lot of shredding,” said Vickie Young-Weatherspoon, "SOAR-EX" Program Director.

Young-Weatherspoon said it’s an opportunity her students with special needs get to have before getting their first job.

“Right now, they are learning job readiness skills for their transition into independent living — each of our students must have a plan as to what they’ll be doing when they graduate the 12th grade," Young-Witherspoon said.

"We do not have a copy and print center here in Hearne, and I really feel the students they can be owners, operators, and managers of a copy/print center someday."

15 ABC’s Chris Talley went along with Jayden as he delivered an upcoming project to one of his clients in the front office, and it was a success.