RAMP receives CVS grant to help teens with disabilities transition

By Melissa Mastrogiovanni

RAMP, 115 N. First St., will be able to expand its Teens N’ Transition program because of a $1,500 CVS Caremark Community Grant.

“CVS Caremark Community Grants are an effective way for us to contribute to the success of communities where we do business,” said Jennifer Veilleux, director of CVS Caremark Corporation, 2211 Sanders Road, Northbrook, in a press release. “We are proud to support the work that RAMP does in the community.”

Originally, the Teens N’ Transition program was done in collaboration with the Belvidere and the Freeport school districts. However, after receiving the grant on Jan. 12, the program expanded to include the Sandwich school district as well.

Teens N’ Transition helps high school students with disabilities and special needs transition into life, whether it be pursuing higher education or finding a job.

“I think that having children with disabilities teaches us that we are all people,” said RAMP marketing manager Jodey Vass. “We are all the same.”

Some of the courses offered through Teens N’ Transition include learning how to balance a checkbook, creating a budget, learning proper interviewing skills, preparing for higher education and obtaining housing.

RAMP, the organization that developed Teens N’ Transition, was founded in Rockford in 1980 and has grown to include other office locations in Boone, DeKalb, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties, Vass said.

Along with assisting people with disabilities with various programs, RAMP also works to promote legislation to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

“I feel that working here is very rewarding. I get to see over and over again the impact that our organization has on people’s lives,” Vass said.