iGROW Program with the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University Works with Several Rural Businesses to Employ Students

July 19, 2023

The “I Generate Rural Opportunities for Work” (iGROW) Project is a four-year pre-employment and leadership-training program in partnership (funded by) with TWC’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program, for students with disabilities who are currently enrolled in middle school and high school (ages 14-22). This summer several students were selected to work with a rural business that interested them. The purpose of the program is to provide a training environment to support students with disabilities to gain the necessary skills and experiences in work readiness in order to successfully transition into postsecondary education and/or competitive integrated employment.

Rosezanna and Jamie are working as camp counselor assistants at Down Home Ranch in Elgin, Tx this summer. They are assisting campers with fun activities including hiking, archery, fishing and kayaking as well as time in the gym exercising and playing games.  We are so proud of these two and their passion for helping others!
Jessica is spending her summer exploring a career as a hair stylist.  She is working at Salon 77 in Lexington, Tx as an assistant.  She said, “I really liked helping Holly (owner) with highlights”.  Jessica said that she is learning so much and knows for sure that this is a career path she wants to pursue.
After completing Person Centered Planning with his teachers at Gidding High School this past spring, Maison discovered an interest in learning more about agricultural equipment and mechanics.  He received a job placement at Shoppa’s Farm Supply in Giddings, Tx to gain exposure to this career.  Supervisor Jim Jaegar said that Maison is a great employee and shows a clear passion for mechanics and would like to extend an offer to work with them as an after-school employee this year. With the assistance of the iGROW team, Maison will also explore the John Deere certification program at Navarro College in Corsicana, TX as an option after graduation in 2026. Way to go, Maison!