School-to-Work Transition Services Helps Students Explore Careers

Easton Area High School student and Via participant, Austin, loves working with the students at Lehigh Children's Academy, Via's inclusive early-learning center.

Austin is currently completing a paid work experience at LCA, where he is learning the basics of childcare. The experience is part of Via's School-to-Work transition program that operates in partnership with local school districts and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

The program assists high school students with disabilities explore careers of interest by creating a personalized employment plan and preparing students for post-high school opportunities.

Austin's favorite part of working at LCA is the kids. 


“I really like working with toddlers,” he says. “They’re so cute.” 


Austin also likes the feedback he receives from his job coach, who assists him in developing independent work behaviors and habits so he can reach his employment goals.

Learn more about our School-to-Work Transition program on our website. Any business that would like to partner with Via to provide work experiences for high school students with disabilities, please contact Alivia Sinko, Director of Community Employment Services at [email protected].

Advocating for Via and Our Participants

Via welcomed Pennsylvania Rep. Zachary Mako and Amy Cozze, Lehigh Valley Regional Manager for Sen. Bob Casey Jr., to tour Via's Spruce Street location. Both spoke with members of Via's leadership team to learn how they can support Via's work and disability rights, overall.

As part of continual advocacy efforts on behalf of individuals with disabilities and those who serve them, Via's leadership urges policymakers to pass legislation to increase funding for Workforce Initiatives and to create a standard occupational classification and support career pipeline programs for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs).

Rep. Mako challenged Via participants to see who could package the most in two minutes. Rep. Mako raced Sharon to package Beautyblender soaps and then he faced off against Maxine to package Beautyblenders. Sharon and Maxine won the challenges! You can watch the video on our Instagram page.

During Cozze's visit, Via's President/CEO, Lisa Walkiewicz, outlined the legislation Via leaders urge Senator Casey to support:  


  • Better Care Better Jobs Act: increases funding for Home and Community-Based Services through the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, promoting recruitment and retention of DSPs.


  • Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act: establishes a standard occupational classification for DSPs; creates a comprehensive mechanism for collecting data on DSPs, allowing policymakers to make informed decisions to assist with recruitment, retention, and fair compensation.


  • Direct CARE Opportunity Act: establishes a career pipeline for DSPs to support further career development and offer additional opportunities for training and professional development.

Via welcomes all government officials who want to learn more about the services we provide. To schedule a tour, email Julie Scheck, Director of Development and Communications, at [email protected].

Thank you for Supporting Via!

Thank you for your support of this year's annual appeal!

Because of you, Via can provide critical services to hundreds of people with disabilities in our community. There is still time to make your gift. To donate online, go to our website.

Help Grow the Via Tribute Garden

Thank you to everyone who has purchased a brick for the Via Tribute Garden. You can help grow the Brick Tribute Garden in honor or memory of a loved one by purchasing your brick this winter.

We would love to expand the growing tribute garden this spring!

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