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The new year is beginning and I am excited about the opportunities ahead for The Able Trust High School High Tech (HSHT) students. Our HSHT sites are recruiting new students for their programs, and we look forward to continuing to work with students with disabilities to give them academic and career development resources and experiences they can use as they prepare for their future.

If you want to keep up with student activities and highlights throughout the school year, be sure to follow The Able Trust on social media. As we look ahead to the new school year, I also want to continue to celebrate activities from last year. Check out the highlights below!

As always, we want to ensure our students are able to participate in great experiences that expose them to potential career opportunities. Engagement from our community partners and local leaders is crucial. I have two requests:

  • For our HSHT site leaders, I hope you're connecting with local businesses and other employers in your community who would host a tour for your students.
  • And if you're an employer, please reach out to me if you are interested in sharing information about your organization or industry with HSHT students in your area.

I look forward to working with you in the coming year!

Coleen Agner

High School High Tech State Director 

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Michael Vazquez

Michael is a graduate of the Flagler High School High Tech program. During his participation in HSHT, he learned about career opportunities and worked on his interview skills.

Today, Michael works part-time at Invisacook, a company that manufactures cook tops. He loves his job in the warehouse and is learning skills including how to build and make items and how to keep the workplace clean.


One of the most important priorities of the High School High Tech program is to give students information and experiences that help prepare them for the workforce and help them envision their next steps after high school. Below are highlights of a few of these experiences.

Duval HSHT

Partner: Arc Jacksonville

Students over 18 years old can make boxes in the warehouse for Johnson and Johnson as part of a work readiness paid training, while they continue their search for competitive employment after graduation. The students earn minimum wage, put warehouse work on their resume and learn valuable work readiness skills to take to the next employer.

Brevard HSHT

Partner: Brevard Schools Foundation

Students worked the Art Festival in Sebastian, Florida. The team that runs the festival donated an area for them to set up tables. The students were eager to share their program with individuals who stopped by to check out the projects the students had completed. The students were able to utilize many of the communication skills they worked on during the week.

St John’s HSHT

Partner: Arc Jacksonville

Students participated in a fundraiser for their programs with the Jumbo Shrimp Baseball team in Jacksonville. The students received a percentage of the profits they raised from the prize wheel raffle to go toward their program activities for the school year. The students learned to handle cash transactions and use a credit/debit card processor for payments, and also learned customer service skills.

Pepin Academies and

Pasco HSHT

Partner: ServiceSource

Students were given the opportunity to tour Marchman Technical College and observed several career tracks and opportunities, including auto and marine mechanics.


Partner: Ability 1st

HSHT students visited Florida A & M University in Tallahassee and loved the experience. One of the HSHT seniors decided to participate in the TCC2FAMU track because of their visit.

Hillsborough HSHT

Partner: Pepin Academies

Students participated in a field trip to Buddy Brew, a local coffee shop. They provided a comprehensive tour of their warehouse where the coffee is roasted, and a coffee-tasting test for all 29 students. A Buddy Brew trainer educated students on proper coffee grinding and brewing techniques.



High School High Tech programs help open doors for the students with disabilities who participate. If you're interested in getting involved, there are several ways to become engaged:

  • Host your local HSHT site and let them see what happens in your industry.
  • Mentor a HSHT student to give them the real-world experience that is vital to entering the workforce.
  • Adopt a HSHT site to expand student experiences and resources.

To learn more, contact Coleen Agner,

High School High Tech State Director 

at Coleen@abletrust.org

A Special Thank You to Supporters of The Able Trust

High School High Tech Program

AT&T Foundation

Batchelor Foundation

Florida Department of

Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Leon Cares

Magruder Foundation

Wells Fargo Foundation

About High School High Tech (HSHT)

High School High Tech is a program that provides high school students with disabilities the opportunity to explore jobs and post-secondary education leading to in-demand careers. Established in 1996, HSHT connects students to a broad range of academic and career development resources and experiences that will help prepare them to meet the demands of the 21st century workforce. For information, visit www.abletrust.org.

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