yes program

Youth Employment Services

The YES program at Sims Academy is a class for students with disabilities that are in there senior year of high school. The YES Program is partnered with Goodwill of N.E. Georgia, Georgia Vocationa Rehabilitatin Agency, and High Shool High Tech, with the goal of helping seniors be better prepared for independent employment after high school.   

The 3 phases of the program:

Phase 1: Class at Sims--Fall Semester

  • Skills assessments are given to students to find out what carreers would be a good fit for them.Students will learn employability skills and soft skills such as searching for a job, writing a resume, and interviewing.  They will also learn how to manage their pay and benefits once employed. 
  • Through the support of High School High Tech and Vocational Rehabilitaton, students will tour local manufacturing facilities to learn about employment opportunities and networking techniques.  Students will also tour local technical schools to learn about disability services and what programs are available to them.
  • The class is taught 2 days a week by a Goodwill case manager.  Other days, the class will be taught by the Sims Academy YES Program Coordinator, Mrs. Helderbrand. 

**In order to move to Phase 2, the student must be deemed as motivated and dependable.

Phase 2: Paid Internship--Spring semester

  • Goodwill Career Specialists find and secure a internship location in the student's area of interest.  Students must have their own transportation or a reliable way to get to a from work.  Students can work up to 25 hours a week and must work at least 4 hours a week, and will be paid $7.25 an hour. 
  • The YES Program Coordinator and the Goodwill case manager will check on the student once week at work to provide guidance and support as students transition to work. Progress and goals are discussed between the emoloyer, the student, and the teachers.

Phase 3: Support for full-time job placement after graduation.

What kind of student should be recommended for the YES class?

  • Student must have a desire to work after high school
  • Student mus be in their 4th and final year of high school
  • Student must have room in their schedule for 1 YES class at Sims (fall semester) and 1 YES class for the internship (spring semester)
  • Student must be ready for independent employment 
  • Studen must have an IEP and be eligible for VR services/on VR caseload
  • Student must read on 3rd grade reading level or higher
  • Student shoule have transportation for spring semester internship



Leah Helderbrand

YES Program

Leah Helderbrand earned a BSEd from The University of Georgia in 2004. Mrs. Helderbrand...

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