Kennesaw State’s Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth held its sixth annual Disability Mentoring Day in Prillaman Hall on Thursday, Oct. 24.
AILSG’s annual event, sponsored by Amerigroup, provides students with developmental disabilities the opportunity to learn and develop skills that will help them in post-graduation job success, AILSG Executive Director Neil Duchac said.
Professionals from Amerigroup partner with AILSG to discuss topics such as dressing for success, resume building and job success.
“Amerigroup had numerous high-profile people come out to the event to speak with our students here, including their director and their marketing director,” Duchac said. “We had breakout groups that discussed the larger job community outside of KSU and had human resources individuals from Aaron’s speak as well as human resources managers from radio stations. It was a nice opportunity for our kids to see what opportunities are available for them outside of KSU.”
Amerigroup donated to AILSG as part of its annual tradition, Duchac said.
“Any money that we received from Amerigroup this year was considered scholarship money,” Duchac said.
Duchac said that members of AILSG met sometime before the annual event to decide if the funds would be used as a scholarship for one student out of the 42 students within the organization, should Amerigroup provide an annual donation. Amerigroup provided a donation totaling $2,500, of which all funds were used as a scholarship for the chosen student.
Duchac said he hopes to see AILSG grow in the coming years and hopes to see more students involved in the 2020 Disability Mentoring Day.
“We have 42 students now, and next year we hope to be at 50 or more,” Duchac said. “Every year we intend to grow, and as Amerigroup comes back next year we hope to have more of our students participate and benefit from their expertise.”
AILSG offers a fully comprehensive post-secondary college education and experience for students with various intellectual or developmental abilities who do not meet higher-education requirements for admission as a degree-seeking student, according to the AILSG website.
A number of programs and events are hosted year-round, including the Summer Leadership Intensive Program, which invites middle school, high school and graduates to the KSU campus. The AILSG also provides opportunities for students who are seeking a degree and would like to help the students and the faculty within the program.
“We hire student mentors which work as social mentors as well as peer mentors to work directly with our students on campus,” Duchac said. “I would argue that the opportunity can be pretty life-changing.”