SPS Special Needs Students Attend Event to Prepare for Life After High School

High school students in the Springfield school district with special needs were given instruction and advice on life after high school at a special all-day event.

The BASE Transition Seminar encouraged students to look at the options they have after high school like college or a career. BASE, which stands for Business Associated Student Education, aims to help students “develop career awareness, exploration, assessment, and positive social skills necessary for successful integration in the world of work and society.”

“Once students hit their junior year, graduation seems like a long time away, but it really comes in a blink of an eye,” Leslie Callison, BASE instructor at Mercy, said in a press release from SPS. “Some of our students need services to assist them in connecting to education or employment after graduation, so the sooner we’re able to connect them with services, the more successful they’ll be.” 

The Hammons Heart Institute at Mercy hosted the event for about 100 students. Each student had an IEP, or Individualized Education Plan, which outlines what supports and services a student might need to be successful.

The students heard from former Hillcrest student Lawrence Beatty-Harrison, now a garnish chef at Missouri State. He is also an instructor on the campus in “Cooking 101” classes.

“In high school, I learned that I have to be on time and I’ve got to show up,” Beatty-Hairston told the students. “Being late, missing time at work, that’s not a good thing. I wouldn’t show up to classes a lot in high school. But if you want to be successful, you’ve got to put in the time and be positive every single day.” 

The event also included other guest speakers and breakout sessions to help the students better prepare for life after school. The BASE program has been a part of Springfield Public Schools for 25 years.

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