Special needs kids find jobs thanks to teacher

Program helps to prepare special needs kids with job opportunitie.

Columbia, SC (WLTX)- One of our Golden Spatula winners is extending their work opportunities to special needs students at Dreher High School in Columbia, S.C. It's a gift one teacher worked hard to get them.

Rebecca Smith-Hill, a Moderate Intellectual Disabilities teacher is taking two students to the Local Buzz on the city bus for them to work.

She says this opportunity is giving them more than just job training.

It takes a specific kind of skill, a gift really, to genuinely enjoy doing some of the chores that no one else wants to do. 

Cameron Jones and Nick Osbourne have that gift. "Cam loves washing the dishes that's his favorite" said Smith-Hill.

"For these kids it's about finding what are their abilities what are they good at because they're good at many things and yes they have some limitations but don't we all" she said.

Smith-Hill is not the first teacher to see a child's ability through their disability, but she is the first one at Dreher to help them use it. 

One day a week a 10th and 11th grader go to the local coffee shop to work. Local Buzz Coffee is geared towards creating a safe and comfortable space for all kids. Owner Stephanie Griggs has children of her own with autism.. 

If you ask Cameron and Nick what gives them the most happiness they'll tell you, meeting and greeting people. 

"Nick is getting less and less shy; he was super shy at the beginning but this program helped him get out of his shell" explained Smith-Hill.

The kids have now found what they love to do and made it their job and that's one gift that will never stop brewing. 

Teacher Smith-Hill is hoping to expand the program and provide more job opportunities to her students. If you'd like to partake please Dreher High School a call to (803) 253-7000 and ask for Ms. Smith Hill. 

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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