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Students awarded at Transition conference

As featured in The Standard-Journal  

SELINSGROVE — Central Susquehanna Valley special education students gathered at Susquehanna University on Tuesday for the 2023 Union-Snyder Transition conference. The conference is planned each year to inspire and provide knowledge on topics that will help them as they transition into life after high school.

Students from CSIU’s Work Foundations+ program, Milton, Midd-West, Selinsgrove and Warrior Run school districts, along with SUN Area Technical Institute, attended the conference, titled Growing the Best Me in 2023. The theme was “Prepare for the Future.”

Students nominated for the Dr. Cynthia Schloss Award took the stage as their peers learned of the work they are currently doing, in and outside of school, the challenges they have overcome and details of their future plans. The awards are presented annually to students who demonstrate a strong personal work ethic and commitment to preparation for adult life.

The award winners were: First place, Frances Daniels, Warrior Run School District; second place, Billy Lutcher, Milton Area School District/SUN Area Technical Institute; third place, Sully Kelson, Shikellamy School District/SUN Area Technical Institute; and honorable mention, Kincade Cush, Danville Area School District and Owen Bowersox, Selinsgrove Area School District/CSIU Work Foundations+.

Each student received a trophy and a monetary award. The monetary awards are given by the Schloss family. Rebecca Kinney, from the Schloss family, attended the conference.

“This award has been maintained for 20 years and I’m just so incredibly thankful for the CSIU for keeping my mom’s memory alive and for organizing this conference for the students. I’m taken aback by everything the students have achieved! We will continue these monetary awards for as long as we can,” said Kinney.

Conference attendees had the opportunity to hear from Keynote Speaker Jared Curry, a licensed clinical social worker, U.S. Marine and owner of multiple local businesses. He specializes in helping young people manage life’s stress.

During his presentation, Curry encouraged students to start networking now, explaining that it is one of the most important life skills.

“It’s as simple as introducing yourself to people around you and walking through the halls offering ‘good morning’ to those you pass in the hall,” he said.

In addition to the awards and keynote speaker, students attended breakout sessions that included topics such as employer expectations, financial matters, job coaching, social media, community safety and types of employment opportunities.

In the session “How to be a Gamer,” Colleen Epler-Ruths, CSIU STEM Education Consultant said, “Students interested in gaming can become strategists, content creators, entrepreneurs and organizers, to name a few types of employment.”