ARLINGTON, Va. — Lindsey Kussow is the student who, as her teacher says, “never gave up.”
When she realized that she would have difficulty passing her high school graduation exam because of her learning disabilities, Lindsey applied to a school/community transition program called SEARCH. It was a good decision, according to Kussow.
“Project SEARCH taught me how to be independent and to be responsible for myself,” she said.
In honor of her achievements, Kussow, 20, will receive a 2014 Yes I Can Award from the Council for Exceptional Children at the Yes I Can Award ceremony on April 11, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia as part of the CEC 2014 Convention and Expo.
Through Project SEARCH, Kussow had two work rotations at Effingham Hospital, where she learned the basics of recordkeeping, supported professionals in the radiology department and discovered her aptitude for office work. She was hired to work at Edwards Interiors in Springfield, and since starting the job a year ago, Kussow has received two raises and consistently positive reviews.
Each year, the Yes I Can program recognizes the accomplishments of 21 students in seven categories: academics, arts, athletics, school and community activities, self-advocacy, technology, and transition. CEC honored Kussow with an award in the transition category.
“The Yes I Can Awards were developed to recognize the accomplishments of students with disabilities who have achieved remarkable things,” said CEC President Robin D. Brewer. “Lindsey is most deserving of this award for her hard work, perseverance and successes.”
CEC is an international membership organization composed of special and gifted education professionals who work to improve the quality of life for individuals with exceptionalities and their families through professional excellence and advocacy.
The CEC 2014 Convention and Expo will be the largest annual gathering of special educators in the world, with the crowd expected to be around 5,000 professionals.
For more information about the Yes I Can Awards, visit www.cec.sped.org/yesican.