One of the most significant transitions that occur in a young person’s life is getting ready to leave high school and go out into the world as a young adult. For a student with a disability, this transition can be even more challenging. The students in our Minnick Schools are participating in a variety of programs to help with this transition and set them on a path to vocational success.

Our Roanoke campus offers students the PAES (Practical Assessment Exploration System) Lab, a classroom that is transformed into a work environment to help students learn basic career, vocational and life skills in five areas: business/ marketing, construction/industrial, consumer/service, processing/production, and computer/technology.

Our Starkey Station campus, also in Roanoke, offers students age 15 to 22 instruction in vocational skills. Our students learn valuable skills such as assembly line production, basic housekeeping, basic mail room/clerical, stocking shelves, using a time clock, applying for a job and more. Check out this video to see the students in action and to learn more about these successful programs:

Recently, our Wytheville campus held a career day for 15 of their students age 12 to 18. The students had the opportunity to hear many people speak about their career. Speakers covered a wide variety of areas and included individuals like a recent college graduate and a farmer’s market manager. 

To learn more about the participants check out this blog,, written for the Wythe Bland Young Professionals by Jean Farley, a teacher at the Minnick School in Wytheville.

We, at the Minnick Schools would like to thank our parents, teachers, local school districts, LFSVA staff, community agencies and more. Critical to a student’s successful transition into adulthood is the team effort and I am happy to say … we have a great team!

By Lisa Milliken, assistant director of education, dog lover, hiker, and baseball fan.