Transition House paves the way to independence.

by | Jun 19, 2023 | 0 comments

Transition House paves the way to independence.




ALAMOSA — The San Luis Valley Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) serves all 14 school districts in the Valley. This year, students with disabilities, ages 18-21, are participating in multiple activities, during the day, in their new Transition House.


The house provides opportunities for students to learn independent living skills, pursue employment goals, post-secondary education possibilities and leisure activities. The program is run by Stacey Holland, BOCES Special Education Director, and teachers Amiel Ariota, Lori Sanchez-Gomez, and Dennis Van. Funding comes from a variety of sources including a grant co-authored by Jacque Phillips, BOCES Executive Director.


The students began the school year by opening their own business, Snack Shack, that provided food delivered to teachers at reasonable cost. This was successful, so the students next created a pillow-making business. Pillows sold for $15 each and were quickly purchased by teachers and residents of The Bridge at Alamosa. The materials for the pillows were donated by a parent to reduce costs.


The students spend their day out in the community and in the house conducting business for their projects. They tour and volunteer at several local places, including the Alamosa County Sheriff’s Department, Milagros Coffee House, North River Greenhouse and Rethreads, as they work to gain skills for employment. Two of the students are already working in paid jobs and have big plans for their futures.


When the house was opened for the transition program, students spent time cleaning, painting and learning how to set up a home. It is their responsibility to take care of their house including cooking and cleaning. Time is spent teaching the students the financial aspects of independent living.


One student commented, “Now I know what to do when I have my own house!”


Teacher Ariota stated that the students have driven the learning themselves by establishing goals and learning how to be entrepreneurs.


“We hope that one day, they will open their own businesses in the Valley! No telling what is next for the Transition House students, but we have heard there is room for a garden and goats,” BOCES officials stated.