Helping students with disabilities

explore and prepare for career success.

March 2024

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Tom Dempsey Leaves a Legacy of Inclusion

Saddlebrook Resort founder and former owner Thomas L. (Tom) Dempsey recently passed away at the age of 97. Considered a visionary, Dempsey is remembered for being a mentor to many and generous with his time. Under his guidance, Saddlebrook Resort supported disability employment, "providing a safe haven where intellectually and developmentally disabled adults could work and be accepted."

This passion for championing an inclusive workplace for Floridians of all abilities has been passed on to his granddaughter, Dr. Alexis Doyle, who serves as a member of The Able Trust board of directors.

The Able Trust staff and board of directors extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Thomas L. Dempsey.

Partner Perspectives

Adrienne Johnston, CareerSource Florida

In this month's Partner Perspectives, we hear from Adrienne Johnston, President & CEO of CareerSource Florida as she discusses important skills and education employers are looking for today. Ms. Johnston also provides insight on in-demand postsecondary options students should be aware of, as well as the benefits of connecting with local CareerSource Florida offices around the state.

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Developing Entrepreneurs

Organizations Step Up to Coach PV Finalists

Four outstanding companies and organizations have agreed to serve as Executive Coach Sponsors for the four High School High Tech (HSHT) teams who advanced to the 2024 Project Venture competition's final round. They are:

- Centennial Bank, supporting Gulf County HSHT;

- Duval Motor Company, supporting Duval County West HSHT;

- Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, supporting Broward County North HSHT;

- HCA Florida Healthcare, supporting Leon County HSHT.

In addition to their generous financial support, these sponsors have agreed to provide coaching, feedback, and encouragement for their respective county's students in preparation for the final round on April 9 in Jacksonville.

Thank you to these four Executive Coach Sponsors for sharing your expertise with tomorrow's entrepreneurs!

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HSHT Connections

HSHT Student Signs with Johnson & Wales

Lake Buena Vista High School senior Kalin Lincoln thrives in the classroom and on the volleyball court. The two-year High School High Tech (HSHT) participant and sous chef in her Career and Technical Education class is a culture creator among her fellow students. She has grown beyond her natural introversion and advocates for her needs in the classroom, as well as counseling other students with disabilities in order for them to find success.

HSHT helps many students with disabilities develop self-confidence and self-advocacy, and Kalin is no exception. The captain of her school’s volleyball team and National Honor Society member has accepted a scholarship with Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina to continue her culinary arts study and volleyball career.

Learn more about Kalin on our HSHT Highlights page!

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Thank you to our 2024 Project Venture Sponsors

A Brighter Future for Students with Disabilities

Interested in Strengthening

High School High Tech?

- Would you host a tour of your business or industry for your local High School High Tech students?

- Interested in speaking to HSHT students about college or training programs?

Let us connect you to your local HSHT program coordinator so you can make a difference in the lives of students with disabilities.

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Invest in Florida's Future Workforce

Investing in preparing students with disabilities for post-secondary success helps nurture a stronger talent pipeline for Florida at large.

As our state’s workforce continues to evolve, it is imperative that we focus on opportunities to provide students with disabilities with the tools to adapt, grow, and advance in their chosen fields.

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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.