Free camp teaches people with disabilities how to get a job

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO)- Amplify Life is a non-profit organization that has been serving people with cognitive and developmental disabilities for more than 40 years.

More than 2 years ago, the organization created a camp that teaches people with disabilities how to enter the workforce. The Spring Break camp session is underway, and campers learn what jobs they can apply to. Such as working in the retail industry folding clothes, or working as a host or busser in the restaurant industry.

"They [people with disabilities] are told almost all their life what they cannot do," said Amplify Life Office Administrator Cindy Prescott, "You cannot do this, you cannot do that, and we are trying to show them that they can."

The week-long camp is open to people who are 14-22 years old. Some of the activities include learning how to write a job application, doing mock interviews, as well as going on field trips.

Diane Thorkildson has a 14-year-old daughter who has epilepsy and developmental issues. Like Thorkildson, many parents wonder what their kids will do in the future.

"All parents worry about that," said Thorkildson,"About what my kid is going to do in the future. I think it becomes more magnified when you have a child with a disability that is going to face more barriers out there in the world."

Thorkildson enrolled her daughter to the camp to learn how to get a job. She said she is thrilled because she knows her daughter can work in the future.

Free camps like this rely on volunteers like Luis Chavez. He has been volunteering with Amplify Life for a few years.

"It makes me happy knowing that when I am no longer there, they [people with disabilities] will be able to advocate for themselves," said Chavez.

The program has been successful in getting some students jobs.

"After the first year we had 3 students fill out resumes and they actually got jobs," said Prescott,"One up at Mount Rose as a restaurant hostess and another at a warehouse."

The Spring Break camps are full but they offer summer camp programs.

If you want to register, the contact information is below.
Phone- 775-827-3866