This semester, Courts Plus welcomed two students from the Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy (ELSA), an Elmhurst College four-year, post-secondary certificate program for young adults, ages 18-28, with differing abilities. The program’s focuses include academic and career exploration, independent living skills, and social and recreational skills.
Students Tommy and Marissa, interned at Courts Plus, building work and social skills. Courts Plus staff welcomed the opportunity to work with them.
Marissa is working in the Kids Plus Kapers program and enjoys spending time with the kids. “I want to help them and teach and do everything I can to get them ready for life,” she says.
On the Fitness Floor, Tommy assists with keeping the area tidy and ready for members, including cleaning the equipment and stocking the towels. He’s also spent some time scanning members in at the Service Desk, which he especially enjoys.
The internships give the students a chance to work independently, while learning new skills in a supportive environment. Job coaches, Haley and Bianca, are on hand to provide encouragement when necessary and they embrace the chance to learn along with their students. “We learn with them. Every day is different because they are learning something new, so we can learn something new too,” Bianca says.
The ELSA program gives students the confidence and skills needed to create lifelong-learning opportunities. Garret Rosiek, Career Development Coordinator for ELSA, emphasizes the support the program offers. “Students are provided an inclusive environment to interact with their peers and get involved with most clubs, organizations and more at Elmhurst College.”
Courts Plus is looking forward to hosting more ELSA interns in the future, continuing what has become a mutually beneficial partnership with Elmhurst College. “The kids really enjoy having them participate,” says Courts Plus Kapers staff member Nancy.