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ECNV Launches New Mentoring Program: RAMP

We are excited to announce that ECNV is partnering up with the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) to offer another mentoring program for students with disabilities called Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP)!

Many readers may be familiar with the I Am Self-Advocacy (IASA) Program that we launched a year ago in collaboration with DARS. While the IASA program focuses on honing self-advocacy skills, the Virginia RAMP is focused on career interests.

RAMP is a model being implemented across the country at various sites and has seen success over the last 10 years, enrolling over 4,200 youth and recruiting over 616 mentors. Led by the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), this model uses a combination of group and one-on-one peer mentoring to promote the successful transition of RAMP participants to employment, postsecondary education and training, and independent living.

ECNV is serving as a pilot site, receiving referrals from the Fairfax DARS office for students, aged 16-22, who are interested in participating in this year-long program. During the program, students will work on goal setting, STEAM projects, workplace readiness skills development (such as mock interviews and resume building), and hands-on career exploration through activities such as worksite visits, guest speakers, internships, and job shadowing. We kicked off the pilot program on November 11th and expect to end on July 1, 2023.

We are looking forward to building strong relationships with our community partners to make this program a long-lasting success year after year. Specifically, we are looking for volunteer mentors to work directly with the students, guest speakers to talk about their careers/trade, employers to provide work-based experiences, and/or sites that could provide a tour of their industry and a “day-in-the-life” type of presentation.

If you are interested in becoming a partner or learning more about the program, please contact the RAMP Mentor Coordinator, Kevina Brown at kbrown@ecnv.org or call ECNV’s office number at 703-525-3268.