White House Event Mentors Students

Eight RHS students were given an exclusive invitation to visit the White House Oct. 22 to participate in Disability Mentoring Day. The students were provided with job coaching, team building activities and mentoring opportunities from federal workers with similar disabilities.

The invitation was extended on behalf of the Disability Outreach Team, a federal organization that provides equal job opportunities to individuals who suffer from physical or mental disabilities. The visit was part of an annual national campaign to raise awareness for disability employment issues and celebrate the contributions of working Americans with disabilities.

“The purpose of National Disability Awareness Month is to demonstrate to employers that people with disabilities can be productive members of the work force in the United States and should be provided equal job opportunities,” special education advisor Thomas Rea said in an email.

The trip was intended to teach the students how to prevent their disabilities from deterring them from future goals. The students shared their disabilities and the struggles that come with them with each other and federal workers. One of the points of emphasis of the event was helping students to accept their disabilities and take pride in their differences. RHS senior and DHOH student Ruth Vil took this message to heart and came away with a valuable life lesson

“I really learned a lot,” Vil said after she attended the event. “I learned that you should be proud of who you are and that I am different and I am proud to be different.”