Student Spotlight: Vocational Achievement Award presented

June 27, 2019

We have an abundance of good news to share from last week’s End of Year Celebration on our Brewster campus. Today we share highlights of the first of two Student Awards, the Vocational Achievement Award. Director of Education Brittni Taylor presented the award and students, staff, and families at the celebration listened intently as Brittni talked about who was selected to receive this year’s vocational honor:

“I am thrilled to be presenting the 2019 President’s Award for Outstanding Vocational Achievement to one of our hardworking Latham Works students! This student works at numerous positions within Latham Works. You may see them cleaning or working in the garden, making soaps, and assisting in both the packaging and delivery process. This student also has their hand in woodworking and is involved in almost every wood project here on campus! Throughout the work in the Vocational Program, they have grown into being a true team player. They are encouraging to their peers, and at times will demonstrate how to use a tool or skill and then immediately encourage others to “try it.”

Although this student is highly motivated to complete all vocational tasks, their real love is within the Fiber Arts program here on campus. This individual started out a few years ago tearing fabric for rag rugs and dog toys, moving up very quickly to helping assemble them. When the Vocational Team asked if this student would like to learn how to make rope mats, they dove head first and wanted to know everything they could about ropes and knots! I have witnessed firsthand the skills it takes to complete these mats, and I am VERY impressed!

When working with rope one can experience a “zone” akin to meditation with the repetitive ins and outs and overs and under. It requires concentration and the ability to retrace your steps to undo a mistake then moving forward in order to finish your project. Various topics, by either staff or student, can be woven into the conversation and it seems like everyone’s hearing improves and little bits of wisdom or suggestions get that extra mile. This student will often share a friendly ear when peers are talking and frequently gives encouraging words.

The Vocational Team has seen tremendous growth in this student mastering skills, their overall generosity to others, gaining independence within their projects, and a sense of belonging within the Latham community. It is my great pleasure to announce Aidan D. as the recipient of the 2019 President’s Award for Outstanding Vocational Achievement!”

Congratulations to Aidan! (Next week, we’ll announce the second student award recipient and share more highlights from our June 21st End of Year Celebration).


Pictured: Aidan with Brittni Kliment and Educational Team members Fred Walters and Patricia Thomas.

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