MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — In tonight’s What’s Working, doors are opening for students with disabilities. They can take college courses at the University of South Alabama through the Passage USA program. Passage USA is a two-year non-degree program where students earn a certificate of completion. During the course of their study, the students are required to work at a job and gain valuable life skills.
Student, Matysan McClendon, will graduate from the Passage program in May. She has an incredible work ethic, holding down a job at Starbucks on campus while taking several credit hours.
“I have friends, a lot of friends.,” Matysan said.
Everyone seems to know Matysan on campus, and she has flourished in the Passage program.
Lauren Perry, the Employment Coordinator with Passage USA, says students are paired with a student mentor from 8AM-5 PM. The students with disabilities have a support system to help them get to their classes and perform their job duties. Once the Passage student becomes more independent, the mentor slowly steps away. Perry says Passage gives these students hope beyond high school.
“This program is giving them hope and their families hope. They can continue their education like their same-aged peers.”
Passage USA enrolls ten students per year. Enrollment is open now. If you are interested in learning more about the program, click here.