On May 27th 2016, CIP Berkeley hosted its 9th Parent Weekend at Shattuck Hotel, located near our center. The event consisted different presentations, student performances, speeches, recognitions, and awards.
Although convocation week was busy with parent meetings and the end of the spring term modules, staff and students were excited for this day. It was an even more exciting day since CIP’s president, Dan McManmon, community members, parents, and previous staff and current staff, were all in attendance.
Our staff and students did an amazing job making sure the banquet hall looked presentable for our attendees. The event began with a welcome from the Program Director, Kaeb Menker, and an update from CIP’s National Office by Dan Mcmanmon, CIP’s President. Next, CIP Students presented on what social skills means to them. It was a well-organized presentation and was well-received by parents. It’s really impressive to see our students express their thoughts with such confidence.
After the presentation, we watched a short film titled “The Date”, which was organized, acted, and edited by CIP students in the communication module taught by Mike Vaughn, our Social Skills Coordinator. The video was humorous which kept the audience entertained the entire time.
After the video clip, we had a short break followed by music performed by Alex M, current CIP student and also a local band member. After Alex’s performance, Barbara Large, head clinician and Jake L, CIP student, had a discussion on disability identity, a topic that was personal to Jake.
Our event continued with a presentation on our upcoming Winter Break trip. This year we will be heading to Barcelona, Spain. This is such an excellent opportunity for our students to witness a different part of the world, see amazing sights, and experience different cultures.
During convocation, we also recognized staff and students who performed exceptionally this year. This year’s staff of the year award was given to Mike Vaughn, Social Skills coordinator. Mike’s dedication towards our students’ self-growth and his collaboration as an exceptional team player made him the ideal candidate for this award. Mike is always looking for new ideas to engage our students in different social settings so our students can grow the confidence they need as they transition towards independence. He supports our students out in the community during work hours and outside of work. In addition to supporting our students in the social skills department, Mike has created different social skills videos with our students that is often used for teaching purposes or to share with our families. Students and staff truly enjoy working with him and this award is a testament of his values towards his work at CIP.
This year’s Student of the Year award was given to Alex S. Alex knew which areas he needed to work on before he joined our program and did an excellent job following through with the support that was offered to him. He was dedicated in learning the skills he needed and determined to implement them. Alex’s self-confidence grew significantly throughout the year. He started to intern at different work sites and was hired as a student ambassador shortly after. Students enjoy engaging with him and he has always been supportive of our students’ endeavors. It was a great pleasure to have him as part of our student body.
CIP coordinators also offered recognition to students who have done an excellent work in their respective departments. We also recognized our internships sites that continue to support our students.
With a new venue and excellent student led presentations, we received many compliments from parents shortly after the event ended, indicating how delighted they were at our ceremony. It been a great year and we are looking forward to another exceptional year.