Work Skills Challenge Day Focuses on Abilities

April 18, 2019 08:10 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- On Thursday, students from around the region learned new ways to make the most of their gifts and talents.

“The Work Skills Challenge event provides our students hands-on experience of real-world application of the job skills they've been working on all year," Michelle Morehouse, Workplace Learing Coordinator for Austin Public Schools told ABC 6 News.


It's a day built on the idea that success begins when you see people for their abilities."

"Here is my advice to you, believe in yourself,” keynote speaker Suzy Sukalski told students gathered at Riverland Community College.

“Our students are high school students tenth grade through age 21 special education students" coordinator Michelle Morehouse said.

"We're learning from people's experiences, people who have actually been in business," program participant Samuel Ehret said.

“Problem, solving, interviewing ... it helps me communicate with people better," participant Justin Farnsworth added.

"There is no one else like you,” keynote speaker Suzy Sukalski said. “It is your attitude, not your aptitude that determines success.”

"That's really our end goal is that all of our students have meaningful employment in our community," Michelle Morehouse said.

Suzy Sukalski is a success story. She’s a motivational speaker, an artist, a breakfast hostess at a hotel in Fairmont and a business owner.

"I started my own business. I sell my own brand of Sunshine Suzy Crunchy Corn Niblets."

And she has Down Syndrome.

"They really, truly are exceptional and have a lot of gifts to offer our community," Michelle Morehouse said.

"What weed is this?” Suzy Sukalski said, showing a PowerPoint slide during her keynote speech. The next slide revealed a brightly colored flower: “It's not a weed, it's my peony bush. Things aren't always what you expect them to be," she said. “Take a moment, appreciate how awesome you are.”


Dan Conradt

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