College of DuPage’s Career Opportunity ACHievement (COACH) program recently honored 10 graduates during an outdoor ceremony at the Lakeside Pavilion on the College’s Glen Ellyn campus.
Launched in 2017, COACH is two-year, application-based cohort program that helps young adults with mild to moderate intellectual or developmental disabilities bridge the gap between high school and college or the workforce. In addition to reading, writing, math and computer literacy, the program also promotes social skills, independence and career exploration through job shadowing and on-and off-campus internships.
During her opening remarks, COACH Program Coordinator Tracy Kline praised students for their hard work and perseverance through a challenging time.
“You began in the COACH program when the campus was in full action and you ended the program on campus masked and socially distanced or on Zoom,” she said. “Through it all, your incredible tenacity and hard work shone through. You all are amazing.”
Kline also thanked COACH faculty and staff, College administrators and the COD Foundation for their support of the program.
“Finally, I would like to thank the phenomenal family and friends of our students, many of whom are with us today,” she said. “Your steadfast love and support of your students and your flexibility through these most unique times are deeply appreciated and nothing short of spectacular.”
College of DuPage President Dr. Brian Caputo told the graduates that he was truly honored to share in their celebration and wished them success on their future endeavors.
“Completing your studies during a pandemic was not easy,” he said. “However, you persevered through the challenges of the last 16 months and have succeeded because of your efforts to stay focused and motivated. Today is a day of true celebration and I am thankful that we can all be here together.”