Students with disabilities from Golden Gate High School, part of the Collier County Public School District, can now earn authentic, structured work-study experience due to a partnership with Paradise Coast Sports Complex. The G.A.T.E. (Greater Achievement Through Empowerment) Program provides students with disabilities the chance to develop further occupational knowledge and the skills necessary to identify career options, access community resources and practice work-related skills in a part-time, community-based setting. Through this work-study program, students gain meaningful experience with the support of Collier County Public Schools and Paradise Coast Sports Complex staff in an authentic off-campus employment setting.
“With the scope of our facility, we have the opportunity to provide employment and work experience opportunities for all,” PCSC general manager Adrian Moses said. “We are excited to partner with the G.A.T.E program as we strive to serve the community of Collier County in new and creative ways.”
The G.A.T.E. Program is offered to students with disabilities who have fulfilled all academic graduation requirements for a Standard High School Diploma (Access Points/Employment Option). This program prepares these students to move to a full-day transition work program in a community-based setting. These students spend a portion of the school day at a work site that offers a variety of job skill opportunities.
“We are thrilled to have this work experience opportunity with Paradise Coast,” said Kimberly Dewey, Career Experience Teacher with Exceptional Education & Student Support Services at Collier County Public Schools.
“This partnership will allow us to expand our job training and offers new skill sets for our transition students. It’s a privilege to be a part of this incredible sports venue and their excellent management team. We are excited to begin.”
Although the G.A.T.E. Program is an unpaid work-study program, it serves as a bridge between supported on-campus employment options and independent competitive employment in a gradual release model.