When Bob Avedisian (everyone calls him Mr. A) was beginning to pursue his Masters Degree in Special Education, he was informed that a new program had just opened up at WSU called Transition Planning.
They asked him if he was interested and he said, "I sure am."
Transition Planning when applied to Special Education allows you to develop programs and processes for those special education students that you are serving that assists them in moving to different levels of self sustainability.
Once Mr. A graduated with his Masters In Special Education: Transition Planning, he went to DPS looking for a job.
There were several other folks there too looking.
This lady walks out of the office and says, "Is there anyone here with a degree in Transition Planning?" He was the only one that stood up. The rest is history.
Mr. A is now the principal of Charles Drew Transition Center, a DPS school on the Westside. He has 620 students.
Inside the building it is a bright atmosphere with different murals on the wall and specialized classrooms for their needs. These students have mild to severe cognitive skills disabilities. Some have altruism.
There is a lot of activity inside the center from the store where students can buy food and snacks, to the clothing store and the wood shop. In the wood shop they make porch furniture, flower pots and other furniture for homes. Out in the back yard (huge back yard 3 acres) there is the Hoop House, inside here they grow vegetables and other plants. They harvest the vegetables for the cafeteria where they are served as food.
Students prepare and serve the food.
Mr. A says the main goal is to have these students develop individual plans for self sufficiency. Some become employed; others learn how to take care of themselves in their living arrangements. The most consist thing in this center is that these students smile and laugh. It is quite a learning experience to visit.
Bob Avedisian is truly an "Everyday Hero" Making a Difference
On a daily basis in spite of ones life's struggles and challenges, there are some people who reach out an make a positive impact on the lives of others.
That is why Local 4 and a prominent local clergyman, Rev. V. Lonnie Peek, Jr. have teamed up to find those people and tell their stories.
Do you know an everyday hero in your life? E-mail us and tell us about them.
About Rev. Lonnie Peek, Jr.
Rev. V. Lonnie Peek, Jr. located in Detroit in 1975. After teaching 2 years in DPS, he went to WSU receiving a Masters of Social Work, an activist on campus he created the Association of Black Students. He is an entrepreneur and serves on such civic boards as New Detroit, Inc, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. With extensive radio background expanding 25 years, he writes a weekly column for the Michigan Chronicle. He has been a regular on local/ national television shows dealing with political and social issues An ordained minister and seminary graduate, he serves on the executive committee and is the public relations chairman for the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity and is Assistant Pastor at Greater Christ Baptist Church.
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