By Holly Brouker, Berkshire Center Wellness/Community Outreach Coordinator
It is a very exciting time here at the College Internship Program’s Berkshire Center located in Lee, Massachusetts. Lee is a vibrant and growing community, which is where Dr. Michael McManmon began his vision to provide individualized support systems to young adults with learning differences 27 years ago.
While driving down Main Street in Lee, the quaint store fronts and dated architecture are partially camouflaged with scaffolding, covering the entire face of the Bookless Block, which will soon become the home of the Berkshire Center’s classrooms and offices.
The entire staff and students are looking forward to our new setting and believe this is a new birth for our program and connection to the community where our students live and grow.
It has been one year now since I started at 18 Park Street as the Career Coordinator. As a Berkshire County native, raised in Lee, I have contacted many familiar acquaintances, as well as new prospects attempting to place an intern, paid employee or community service volunteer throughout local businesses and organizations.
As I move from the role of Career Coordinator to the Wellness/Community Outreach Coordinator of the Berkshire Center, I want to share with everyone the beneficial opportunities that are available when your organization and our young adults enter into a partnership. Upon acceptance into your organization, an individual student or group of students will be gaining the necessary experience they will need to perform as purposeful, contributing members of their community. This partnership formed between student and organization, including its members, is a win/win situation for all involved.
Our students receive intensive support in college academics, internships and career development (which includes job coaching), health and wellness and life skill Instruction. Also important are the social connections they make daily when supporting the local businesses with their purchases. The diagnosis of children affected with a learning difference has increased worldwide. Getting to know how to help those affected is an opportunity that should not be avoided but experienced with the support of educated, caring professionals.
CIP is a year-round program with students aged 18 to 26 with Asperger’s, ADD and other learning differences. Our mission, with successful involvement within the community, is to inspire independence and expand the foundation on which young adults with learning differences can build happy and productive lives.
As I sign off in this message, please consider this information as an invitation to connect with us. Whether you are interested in providing an internship or your organization is having an event that could benefit from the help of some volunteers.
For more information, call:
Katie Sutton, Career Coordinator – 413 243-2576 x 35
Holly Brouker, Wellness/Community Service – 413 281-2028