A group of south suburban developmentally disabled teens participating in the Transitional Education Program at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest recently won the 2013 Work Olympics trophy at the fifth annual Work Olympics after winning 13 out of 18 total events.
The students are from School District 228 in Hazel Crest and School District 230, serving Orland Park, Palos Hills and Tinley Park.
The Transitional Education Program, or TEP, initiative is a part of the Southwest Cook County Cooperative Association for Special Education. The cooperative has provided low-incidence special education programs and services for 11 public school districts in Cook County for more than 50 years.
The Work Olympics, hosted by Stagg High School in Palos Hills, allowed TEP student teams from various Cook County employer locations to compete against each other in employment-based events. The teens faced off in tasks such as sorting and folding laundry, wiping tables, sorting silverware, drying trays, measuring and weighing, sorting mail, writing and application letter, mock interview, chronological order, alpha order and hauling trash.
“These students work very hard at every task they tackle here at the hospital and are very deserving of this award,” said Angela B. Hedworth, manager for the Center of Learning at Advocate South Suburban Hospital. “It’s wonderful that their dedication and commitment has translated into this outstanding performance at the Work Olympics.”
Advocate South Suburban Hospital partnered with community high schools and TEP to provide work experience to developmentally disabled local teens. Hospital departments where the students gain valuable work and life experience include Food and Nutrition, Laboratory, Central Services and Environmental Services. The students work two hours per day for five days a week.