What is your job at Sheppard Pratt?
I’m the transition coordinator at Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville. I help students figure out the next steps after graduation, whatever that means for them. I help them look at colleges and for appropriate resources and agencies to support them when they leave. I also collaborate with outside agencies and colleagues to ensure I know every possible way to help my students and their families.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I spend time meeting with students, developing their individualized education program (IEP) transition plans and monitoring progress on their goals. I also arrange agency referrals and plan events, activities, and field trips related to transition. I meet with parents to give them guidance and support, and I organize our annual Career Day.
What advice do you have for your students?
To do their best and follow what they want to do. It’s great to have others be proud of them, but it’s just as important for them to be proud of themselves for all they have accomplished.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
My parents. They immigrated to the United States from Cuba for the sake of their children, leaving behind everything, including family. They both worked very hard to give us a better and freer life. They taught me the importance of family, our heritage, working hard, and not taking anything for granted.
What has been your proudest moment at work?
That would be moments, plural! Every graduation is one of my favorite and proudest moments in this job. Watching each student walk across the stage and hearing their stories. Seeing their pride and the pride and love on their families’ faces, knowing how far they have all come—that’s my favorite time!
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to spend time with my nine kids and my friends, going places nearby or just hanging out together. We especially love to visit Frederick, Harper’s Ferry, and Gettysburg. I have always loved to read, and I really enjoy watching movies.
We are proud to be the largest provider of nonpublic special education schools and programming in Maryland. We operate 11 Type I, Type II, and residential schools across the state, and serve students with autism spectrum disorders, behavioral disabilities, and intellectual disabilities.