LEAP volunteers to learn life skills at UNTHSC

Student volunteers from Fort Worth ISD’s Life Education and Preparation (LEAP) program are performing roles on the UNT Health Science Center campus that will help them develop skills and build resumes.

LEAP is designed to guide special needs students into post-secondary goals, including employment, independency and education. Fourteen LEAP students, ages 18-22, are serving as volunteers at Four Star Café, Lewis Library, and in maintenance and other services.

Earlier this month, the students visited campus to get their IDs and shirts, to meet their supervisors and to take a tour. For some, this will be their first time to volunteer.

Debbie Litke, LEAP Program Assistant, said the students "are nervous, but they’re so excited."

Teresa Radilla, 20, who works at the library, activities center and in housekeeping, is eager for the challenge.

"I’m excited to see which position will help me become more successful and independent in helping people," Radilla said. "I really like to help people."

Litke was surprised at how many departments and positions ended up being available to her students. "I was expecting maybe five or six, but we had 14 positions available," she said. "It’s great."

Seth Willmoth, Assistant Director of Maintenance at UNT Health Science Center, said the volunteer program is a great opportunity not just for the students, but for the campus as a whole.

"I hope that the training they receive here at UNTHSC will help prepare them for future careers," he said. "It will be a great feeling to know that we, as a team, contributed to these individuals’ future success."

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