“Tiger TRAILS” Program, Helping AHS Special Needs Students Get a Job

Special needs students at Auburn high school are getting the chance to learn real world skills.

The program is called Tiger Trails.”

The students work and learn at businesses all around town.

Every Wednesday, they go to work at Candlewood Suites.

“They offered me a job. I can’t ask for enough I want to be a hard worker the rest of my life,” said Taylor Farrow, part of the Tiger TRAIL Program.

“I do work in the gym and then do work in the lobby,” said Brandt Graham, part of the Tiger TRAIL Program.

“Sweep the lobby and sweep the stairs a lot. I am learning how to be the man for the job,” said Wyatt Finright, part of the Tiger TRAIL Program.

You’d probably never know they aren’t full-time employees.

“Everyone needs an opportunity and not everyone gets an opportunity. So, I think this is a chance for kids to be exposed to something that they might not be able to. They turned out to be the bigger blessing to us than us to them,” said Misty Ferguson, General Manager at the Auburn Candlewood Suites.

Special needs students from Auburn high school learning work and social skills through the Tiger TRAILS program.

“Core academic is important, but if they don’t believe who they are and what they can give back, I think we are missing the point and I think this program is making that point very strongly,” said Dr. Shannon Pignato, Auburn High School Principal.

Teachers said the program is paying off in the classroom, too.

“Behavior has decreased, relationships have increased, speech has increased, self determination has increased, we’ve seen a lot of positivity from the program,” said Dr. Betty Schiffer, Auburn High School Tiger TRAILS Special Education Teacher.

Valuable job skills for after graduation.

“Just because something is done differently, doesn’t mean it’s done wrong. So, we see students develop their own sense of identity through how they complete a task,” said Dr. Schiffer.

And, life skills parents can already see growing.

“Hes stripping his sheets, he’s taking out trash on his own and after vacuuming, we realized he can vacuum at home and vacuum his room (laughs). I can’t explain to you what that means to us that pride and joy he shows in a task well done,” said Cat Graham, Brandt’s Mother.

Candlewood Suites even offering Taylor a job after she’s down with the program.

“After a bad day at work, that’s the face that meets you. Everything would be turned around. She’s just a ray of sunshine,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson also said a guest wrote an online review saying how great it is to have the kids there and they can tell it makes a difference.


Categories: Alabama News

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