TAMPA, Fla. — The MacDonald Instruction Heart received a proclamation from Mayor Jane Castor Thursday honoring its 70 decades of doing the job to aid adults with disabilities in Tampa Bay.
“Right here in the metropolis of Tampa, we’re so various,” mentioned Castor. “We have to be certain that we are recognizing and celebrating everyone’s potential and benefit in our community. These youthful people today starting off their individual businesses, going off to college, residing independently, it genuinely is a tribute to the MacDonald Education Middle.”
MTC was founded in 1953 by J. Clifford MacDonald. In accordance to the heart, he and a tiny team of moms and dads opened one particular of the initial preschools in the state for young children with disabilities in Drew Park. Right now, MTC delivers vocational schooling, article-secondary education, and household assist systems for men and women with mental and developmental disabilities, autism Spectrum disorder, and these who are deaf and really hard of hearing.
Jon Sandow, 32, is taking portion in the “Tech2Operate” program from MTC’s Emerge Vocation Education and learning and The Mastering Academy at the College of South Florida. The initial section is held at MTC and focuses on teaching neurodiverse college students the foundational techniques they need to have to get the job done with desktops.
Sandow, who has autism, ADHD, and Fragile X Syndrome, explained he enjoys supporting persons with their pc issues.
“When persons, like, their computer breaks down … it really is like the close of the globe,” Sandow explained.
Considering that the stop of very last yr, Sandow has helped clients put it all back again jointly. He gained multiple laptop fix certifications as section of Tech2Work and commenced his individual repair business, Computer systems ‘N Much more.
“It is been going excellent,” he mentioned. “I’ve gotten busier.”
George Greenback, Sandow’s instructor, reported his student’s push and perseverance was clear early on.
“Each and every time we would have a fingers-on session, I’d provide in a laptop or computer, and I might say, ‘OK, find out what’s erroneous with this computer system — of program, he is the to start with just one to jump in,” Greenback said of Sandow. “We can instruct a ton of issues, but we cannot educate enthusiasm. So, when we see any person that is determined and has their have own drive, that is the variety of man or woman that we want to assistance shift into the following degree, which in his situation was starting off his have small business.”
MTC aided Sandow implement for the Respect of Florida Micro-Enterprise Grant, which he in the long run received. Sandow reported he gained $12,000 that he applied to begin his company.
“It truly is been extremely beneficial, simply because I wouldn’t be equipped to get the grant if I didn’t go below,” Sandow reported of having MTC as a resource.
Greenback explained it is satisfying to see the good results of Sandow and other college students.
“To see these youthful men and women — who in advance of had been it’s possible explained to, ‘No, you cannot do these things’ — but now, with the right abilities and, indeed, the certifications from sector-identified corporations like Microsoft and CompTIA and MSSC, which is a logistics business, they can now do that,” Greenback explained.
Sandow is now getting the second part of Tech2Do the job at USF, which focuses on automation. He’s stayed in contact with Dollar and MTC as he navigates existence as a first-time organization owner.
Applications are now open up for the future Tech2Work session. The deadline is April 1.