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Burnaby, New Westminster students with diverse needs get help with transition from high school

The Burnaby school district is hosting an information meeting Thursday evening for students with diverse needs who are transitioning from high school.
The Burnaby school district is hosting an information meeting Thursday evening for students with diverse needs transitioning from high school.

Burnaby and New Westminster students with diverse needs are getting some help this week plotting out their next steps after high school.

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Burnaby school district is hosting an in-person transition information meeting for young adults, families, caregivers, teachers and support workers.

The event is targeted at Burnaby and New Westminster Grade 8 to 12 students who have diverse needs, such as physical and social employment challenges. 

“The transition from high school to adulthood is a big change for everyone,” said Nicole MacPherson, the Burnaby school district’s vice principal of learning support services. “For youth with diverse needs, navigating what supports are out there can be confusing, time consuming and can feel isolating. With this event, we want to bring people together in one place where they can hear from those who’ve been through it, see what’s out there, and have a chance to ask questions. It’s an opportunity to come together as a community and explore how to break down barriers so that every child has a chance to achieve their own vision of success.”

The evening will begin with a panel of presenters, including a young adult who graduated from a Burnaby high school and who will share her own story of making the most of opportunities within the school system and how she navigated and accessed supports within the community.

As many as 30 organizations will be on hand with booths set up with information about everything from post-secondary education and work to leisure opportunities.

Examples include Capilano University, Translink’s access transit program, Plan Institute and Community Living BC.

“What independence looks like is different for every youth,” MacPherson said. “We want to provide the space for families and students with diverse needs to learn about what’s out there to help them pursue and achieve their dreams as they transition to adulthood. For some, that might be taking a post-secondary program, finding a job, or learning skills to live independently, such as travelling on transit by yourself. Everyone’s situation is different, so we really try to provide a window to a variety of supports, services and opportunities when we invite organizations to attend and share information.”

The transition information evening will be held on Thursday, March 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Burnaby Central Secondary (6011 Deer Lake Pkwy).

Registration is requested and can be done online.

For more information, visit the Burnaby school district website.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor