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Tikvah Vocational Program

Ramah Darom’s Tikvah Vocational Program (TVP) is designed to provide former Ramah Darom campers who require extra support the opportunity to return on staff among their peers and develop their vocational skills at Camp. The program begins in Gesher and ensures that all campers have CIT placements that foster growth.

“Working at an overnight camp is a unique and valuable opportunity for these young adult participants. Having a vocational coach live and working alongside them, allows for support beyond the work placement, such as offering real-life guidance of healthy eating, fitness, leisure time and social relationships.” -Dr. Audra Kaplan, Director of Tikvah Support and Camper Care

Prior to Camp, our disabilities and inclusion team has conversations with the participants and their parents to learn about each person’s prior experience, interests and goals for the summer. Then the Vocational Coordinator works with Camp staff to learn about the expectations and skills needed for tasks, designs personalized work opportunities and provides coaching for the participants and their co-workers.

baby and adult smiling“Working at Camp is a dream come true to me because it gives me more opportunities. I work in the Gan and it makes me feel compassionate. This summer I also worked on my healthy eating and exercising. I’m learning how to make different coffees, working in the Welcome Centre, and helping set tables in the Chadar. Working this summer will make me do a lot more around the house and teach me how to work in the real world.” – Sarah D., Sarasota, FL

Smiling and looking at paperwork

Participants in TVP are placed in various jobs around Camp, such as Gan (Daycare), Kitchen, Sorchaniya (Mailroom), Omanut (Art), Camp Office, Café Darom and other job-sites specific to their strengths. They also participate in weekly sessions led by our Vocational Coordinator, focusing on skills such as professionalism, managing money and self-advocacy. In addition, participants receive guidance on peer relationships and healthy living.

“I like my job at Camp. My job is working in the art center. I help the campers, wash brushes, and help finish projects. I feel good at my job because I know how to do it, and I have a job at home in at pottery place. This summer I learned about doing the coffee shop and setting tables. Working at Camp is important for me because I want to be in a regular job at home.” – Carly G., Jacksonville FL

Alumni campers who have received Tikvah Support can apply to be a part of TVP. Participants must have a desire to work in Camp, have mastered independent living skills, and demonstrate a willingness and ability to perform demands of specific work placements.

For additional information about Ramah Darom’s Tikvah Vocational Program please contact Sara Schonwetter, Tikvah Program Director at sschonwetter@ramahdarom.org or 470.381.4016.