Rush Oak Park Hospital’s compassion and commitment to helping those in need includes hosting the Community Integrated Transition Education (CITE II) Program, a young adult transition program that serves students with development disabilities and/or autism who have received a certificate of completion from Oak Park and River Forest High School.
The partnership between Rush Oak Park Hospital and the local high school began back in 1995 as a work-study program for students before expanding to the current young adult transition program, which serves 18-22 year olds that require significant needs of support as they transition to adulthood.
Funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services, the program provides job placements, job coaching and ongoing support for the young adult students who work or volunteer at local businesses.
Students participate in the components of the program that assist them in moving toward their desired post-school outcomes, particularly with an emphasis on job training and acquiring gainful employment.
Over the years, approximately 300 students have learned not only important job skills at Rush Oak Park Hospital, but they have also gained self-confidence, self-respect and a sense of commitment through their participation in the program.
In 2014, participants in the program provided ROPH with more than 5,000 hours of volunteer service.
Cynthia Vasquez, director of volunteer services, is the hospital’s liaison to the program.
“Rush Oak Park Hospital is very proud to be a host site for Oak Park and River Forest High School CITE II program,” she said. “As the students come to our facility each year, it is always a pleasure to observe the maturation process as they develop into confident young adults. It is also very rewarding to know that we are helping them progress towards gainful employment within the community.”