November 2023

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2022-23 HSHT Outcomes Show Continued Program Growth, Sustained Student Excellence

The 2022-23 academic year was a terrific success across the board for Florida High School High Tech. As our annual HSHT Program Outcomes report reflects, students participating in HSHT successfully maintained the program's overall 99% graduation rate among seniors--compared to the 88% graduation rate of Florida students with disabilities who do not participate in HSHT.

The program also experienced year-to-year growth in key areas including:

- 88% of HSHT graduates entered postsecondary education or employment, up from 83% of 2021-22 grads;

- 852 HSHT students participated in hands-on work experiences, up from 756; and

- 1,371 students with disabilities were served by HSHT, up from 1,076.

Thank you to all our sites for the day-to-day work you do to set an excellent foundation for our students!

HSHT Outcomes 2022-23 (PDF)

View the Highlights from Disability Employment Awareness Month 2023

If you're a regular reader or follow us on social media, you know we had an action-packed and incredibly rewarding Disability Employment Awareness Month!

Our new 2023 DEAM highlights page gives you the opportunity to catch up on our activities. Visit the page for:

- Photos from our kickoff event in Tampa and DEAM celebration at Monin, Inc.'s headquarters in Clearwater;

- A link to The Able Trust Board of Directors Treasurer Doug Hilliard's op-ed discussing DEAM and HSHT which appeared in the Orlando Sentinel;

- Social media highlights including posts shared by Florida HSHT sites;

- and so much more!

Review the Highlights Here

An Outstanding Start to the Academic Year

We hope you and your colleagues had a fulfilling Thanksgiving holiday. It's hard to believe, but we are mere weeks away from the end of 2023--and the halfway point of another academic year! Our High School High Tech sites all over Florida have been active throughout the fall semester, and it's wonderful to see so many of our students thriving.

With the celebration of Disability Employment Awareness Month taking center stage, October was a big month for us (so much so that our schedule of events spilled into September and November!). Many of you shared posts, photos and stories of how you made good use of your DEAM toolkits, including the coffee sleeves, stickers and more. I want to personally thank all of you for helping to get the word out about DEAM!

Additionally, thank you to everyone who attended our events and forwarded our newsletters throughout DEAM. Whether it was the celebration at Monin, Inc.'s headquarters, our shared virtual events with Publix showcasing the range of careers in their company, our Webinar Wednesday sessions or simply passing information along to a colleague, we appreciate your willingness to get involved!

So what's on the horizon? For one, we're looking forward to the upcoming launch of the HSHT Ambassadors Program. Watch this space and follow us on social media for updates. And of course, we have the HSHT Conference and Project Venture set for Spring 2024. With all that and more coming up, it's sure to be another banner year for our program.

I look forward to hearing more about your sites' great efforts in serving our students. Keep up the excellent work!

Coleen Agner

High School High Tech State Director

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Networking Bingo Connects Duval HSHT Students with Businesses

Duval County HSHT recently took part in a networking event with HSHT Business Advisory Council members from the area. The students played a round of Networking Bingo to develop their skills in making connections with business professionals, with each student interviewing the BAC partners in rotation to find who among them shared common interests, skills, aspirations and more. The students had an excellent time filling out their bingo cards and learning the importance of finding and building common ground.

Special thanks to the BAC partners who participated: Joshua Costas (Jacksonville Icemen); David Gleeson (Jacksonville Sharks); Rose Gunter and Hali Hagist (Alive Credit Union; Kenneth Hall and Drake Stevens (Publix); Kensley Stewart (The Florida Theatre); and Eric Turner (Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens)!

Wakulla HSHT visit and pix

Wakulla County HSHT students attended the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce's inaugural North Florida Worlds of Work event held on the Tallahassee Community College and Lively Technical College campuses in October. The interactive job exploration fair showcased a wide range of career pathways through hands-on exhibits and face-to-face discussion with industry experts. Thanks to the Chamber, TCC, Lively, the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality, Leon County Schools and CareerSource Capital Region for sponsoring a great event!

Sneak Peek: Project Venture Planning Underway

We have begun preparations for the 2023-24 Project Venture competition. This year's competition will be held in Jacksonville on April 9th. We're so excited to see the creative business ideas our outstanding Florida HSHT students develop!

Click the video below to watch highlights from Project Venture 2022-23.

Project Venture Home



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The Able Trust, also known as the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation, is a 501(c)(3) public charity established by the Florida Legislature in 1990 as a direct support organization for the 

Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Its mission is to be a key leader in providing

Floridians with disabilities opportunities for successful employment.

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