CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Mary Grett Transition Center is a school within CCISD that provides students with disabilities the opportunity to get out into the workforce.
Last year, 11 of the Mary Grett students were hired before they even graduated.
Organizers estimate 30 percent of the graduates of the program with cognitive or physical disabilities now have jobs, compared to 16 percent of that same population in Texas is working.
Parents of students with disabilities attending their fourth year of high school with CCISD are given the option to apply at Mary Grett Transition Center.
Mary Grett has 10 job sites where the students work at, and seven volunteer sites including working at the Texas State Aquarium.
Other jobs include helping churches with custodial work, walking dogs at the humane society and cooking food for the elderly with Meals on Wheels at Del Mar College.
All of these are preparing them for jobs of their own.
"They feel like they're just one of the crew. They don't see themselves as a person with disabilities, they see themselves as one of the workers," said Dr. Debra Stanley, the program's coordinator for transition and support services.
Stanley said the success they've seen from students being out on job sites has helped them to continue to push their students to be independent.
"To give them that ability of what they can do, let 'em go, let 'em shine," Stanley said.
Local businesses with potential opportunities for these workers are asked to call the Mary Grett Transition Center at (361) 878-7960 for more information.