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Last week, we held the 17th annual High School High Tech (HSHT) conference with attendees coming from HSHT programs across Florida. We appreciate the efforts of these coordinators and the time they took to attend to network, learn and refresh.

This is an important event where we share ideas to help improve the HSHT student experience and learn from speakers on a variety of topics that benefit both the students and the HSHT coordinators.

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. The annual conference helps ensure this important program continues to improve and provide new resources that reflect the changing needs of our students and Florida's workforce.


During the annual conference, we celebrate successes, and learn from our HSHT program coordinators. We also reward HSHT programs and the coordinators for the work they do to educate and inform the students, and engage the student's families.

We congratulate the following High School High Tech programs for their efforts in each of the categories listed below.  Additional photos are available on The Able Trust website.

2021 Program of the Year

  • Desoto County HSHT

Rookie of Year

  • Ashlyn Ward, Bay County HSHT

Communications Skills

  • Flagler County HSHT

Connecting Activities

  • Bay County HSHT

School-Based Preparatory Experiences

  • Sarasota County HSHT

Career Preparatory Experiences

  • Leon County HSHT

Family Involvement

  • St. Johns County HSHT

Youth Leadership and Development

  • Wakulla County HSHT


The 2022 Project Venture competition was held on the last day of the HSHT Conference. Project Venture is an exciting event where the top three teams traveled to Orlando for the final phase of the competition. Each team gave a presentation to the round two judges, pitching their business development ideas, answering questions from the judges and other participants and showing their product commercial.

After much deliberation, Orange County was named the first place winner. Congratulations to Orange County for the creation of Belt Buddy, a seat belt cover that displays important information that a person of authority may need to know in an emergency.

St. Johns County was the second place winner and Lake County took third place. All three teams received cash awards that can be used for their HSHT program activities.

Congratulations to Project Venture Second Place Winner St. John's County for the development of Guide Right, an application that is downloaded to the user’s phone to contact a certified guide to drive anyone who is visually impaired and over the age of 18 to desired locations.

Congratulations to Project Venture Third Place Winner Lake County for their new product Shake it Up, a special vibration motor that can be attached to the back of vending machines. With the push of a button, the motor will shake the machine to release any item that may be stuck, i.e. snack, candy, etc. 

Round 2 judges pictured above with top three Project Venture teams.

The Project Venture Competition would not be possible without the participation of our judges. Thank you to all our judges who shared their time and expertise. 




Phase2 Panel of Judges5-sm.png


We also want to recognize all ten Project Venture Teams who submitted business plans this year. The video submissions can be viewed here, and we applaud their hard work and creativity.

The High School High Tech program is a community effort and we appreciate the leadership of all our partners across Florida who make the HSHT program possible. Thank you for being a part of this year's competition and we look forward to next year!





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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