Peer Mentor Evolution

From Participant to Peer Mentor

Peer mentorship was recognized as an important element in the original design of the Worktopia programs. The concept of using peer mentors who do not have autism to provide support to participants who do, has evolved to include program graduates who have autism.

Some meaningful benefits expressed by the participants with autism turned peers include continual growth and learning related to their job skills and interests, ongoing development of social skills and relationships, and increased confidence. They are also able to offer motivational supports and authentic connections to new participants enrolled in the programs.

To read more about the benefits and experience of program graduates becoming peer mentors, and the impact on program participants and staff, click on the TIDBIT link below.

Tidbit #7 - Peer Mentor Evolution PDF Thumbnail

Summer School Work Experience

Attending school over the summer may sound like a real drag to most young teens, but a unique new summer program is providing youth with autism opportunities to develop new friendships, explore employment interests and gain valuable work experience – all while earning school credit.

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Maintaining the Momentum

“It would be wonderful to have some sort of next step. Something that happens after the program that you tailor to the individual.” In an effort to respond to this common sentiment by Worktopia participants and families, ‘Post Program Supports’ are now being offered following program completion to help maintain momentum and support the development of concrete next steps along the employment journey.

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Worktopia & Ready, Willing and Able: A National Collaboration Building Bridges to Supports on the Pathway to Employment

Worktopia and Ready, Willing and Able are working together to meaningfully influence the employment futures of youth and young adults with autism. To read more about how the programs are helping job seekers develop their employment skills, gain a better understanding of the employment services and supports in their local community, and make connections to inclusive workplaces that are looking to hire, click on the news story attached featuring a recent graduate of the EmploymentWorks Canada program.

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