January 2023

View as Webpage

Seats Still Available for HAAPE Webinar Tuesday, February 7

Helping Adults with Autism Perform & Excel (HAAPE) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit 501(c)(3) foundation working to provide meaningful and sustainable career opportunities for the 80-90% of persons with autism who are unemployed or underemployed. Join us Tuesday, February 7, from 9:00 to 9:45 a.m. to learn about this great resource for students with autism as they look to continue their education beyond high school.

Register Today

2023 Project Venture First-Round Judges Provide Insightful Reflections

Our outstanding crew of Round 1 judges did a great job evaluating the diverse group of 2023 Project Venture business plans. The panelists also took a look back on their high school years to provide some thoughtful advice for students as they continue to work on their ideas.

Head to our 2023 Project Venture page to see what each judge would tell their teenage self, as well as which skills they believe are the most crucial for the modern and future workforce.

Learn More

Where There's a Will, There's a Way:

Your Way

In our continuing efforts to provide useful resources, we are highlighting the Get There initiative's adult education options. When it comes to education, not everyone takes the traditional path. Florida’s adult educators strive to help students elevate their earning potential. They customize classroom settings, create community and instill confidence--anything to help students overcome barriers. And these educators bring equal parts passion, compassion, and hope with every message of opportunity. Learn more at AdultEducationFL.com.

Learn More

Project Venture's Largest-Ever Entry Field Excels

We are just over one month away from the 2023 Project Venture live competition in Orlando, and the excitement for this year's event is truly starting to set in. The 19 High School High Tech sites who submitted business plans comprised our largest-ever field of competitors, and the ideas these talented students present continue to improve every year!

Round 1 judging has concluded, and we were thrilled to take to social media to announce the three teams advancing to our live competition at the Margaritaville Resort. In case you missed the announcement, your 2023 Project Venture finalists are:

  • Bay County HSHT
  • Orange County West HSHT
  • Union County HSHT

Congratulations to the top three teams and to every site that submitted a business plan! You all made the judges' jobs very difficult in the best way!

Thank you once again to our Round 1 judges Whitney Doyle, Charles Hokanson, Phil Kwiek and Janice Seabrooks-Blackmore. We appreciate you taking time out of your schedules to weigh in on the judging process!

Last but not least, thank you to our still-expanding field of 2023 Project Venture sponsors. Your support is absolutely crucial to the success of this event--we truly could not do it without you.

I look forward to seeing so many of your smiling faces in Orlando on March 1!

Coleen Agner

High School High Tech State Director


Over the winter holiday break, Sarasota HSHT student Michelle Suarez decided she wanted to get a job. She applied to her local Burger King, interviewed for a position shortly after submitting the application, and ultimately was selected to join the restaurant's staff. Michelle assists in cleaning the restaurant, delivering dine-in and mobile orders, and taking customers' orders both at the register and in the drive-thru lane. HSHT/transitions coordinator Travis Ebersole of The Haven reports Michelle is excited to be working, and is excelling at her job!


The Able Trust, Visit Orlando Present Day of Mentorship

On Wednesday, January 18, The Able Trust and High School High Tech collaborated with Visit Orlando in a terrific mentorship event for students at Cypress Creek High School. Visit Orlando Mentor Day in partnership with The Able Trust provided over 100 students a chance to meet with and learn from a variety of outstanding professionals. Mentors shared helpful insights on career opportunities in a wide range of exciting and in-demand fields, as well as tips for resume writing, professional introductions and more.

Thank you to Visit Orlando for coming together with us to produce a great collaborative event!


Your support ensures Floridians with disabilities have opportunities to gain meaningful employment.


To make your tax-deductible donation to The Able Trust,


Forward this newsletter to other colleagues, and business and community leaders who are interested in disability employment.


CLICK HERE to join

our mailing list.

We welcome the opportunity to answer your questions about disability employment. Invite us to speak at your upcoming board meeting, conference or webinar.


CLICK HERE to fill out our

Speaker Request form.

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.

LinkedIn  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram