IU13 School-to-Work Program Finds a Home at LVC

Kendall Bartholomew ’07 and Laura Horst ’98 at IU13 graduation ceremony

High school students served by the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 School-to-Work Program joined the Lebanon Valley College campus in January 2023. The School-to-Work (STW) Program at LVC provides community-based training in real work settings. The program, which is available for high school students with disabilities, is designed to help students learn self-determination and functional academics, and to establish linkages to adult service agencies.

“Being part of a college campus provides students in the STW program with a profound sense of belonging,” said Kendall Bartholomew ’07, leader of the STW program and an LVC Education alum. “Here, they’re not just students; they’re integral members of a community that celebrates diversity and champions individuality.”

Laura Horst ’98, IU13 educator and also an LVC alum, works with Bartholomew to support the students during this transitional year, helping them learn job skills and preparing them for life after graduation.

Not only are the STW students experiencing growth and discovery each day, but current LVC Education majors also serve as Empower MENTORS. These twelve mentors meet one-on-one with STW students weekly, participating in various campus events, from attending the art gallery to book clubs and lunches in the dining hall. Bridges are built between students of diverse backgrounds and abilities, fostering empathy, understanding, and lifelong connections.

Jen Kuntz, Assistant Professor of Education and Director of Field Experiences, said, “The group collaboration is incredible. There are many opportunities for positive peer relationships. Our Education students can apply classroom content as they work with the STW students.”

Maddie Ayers ’25, an Early Childhood Education and Special Education major at LVC, has witnessed the transformative power of the LVC-STW collaboration. “These students have captured a piece of my heart. Their journey on our campus has enriched their lives and profoundly impacted mine, igniting a deeper passion for special education within me. They have truly changed my experience at LVC and myself as an individual.”

Related News