GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) — This week’s Connecting With Community finalist is helping high school students with disabilities find fulfilling employment as they move into their senior year.

Employment may seem like natural process for most teens, but those struggling with mental and physical disabilities can find it much harder to find employers who are accepting of their needs.

Working with the ACE program it opened my eyes and opened my mind to being more confident in what I do,” Says Shane Brewer, ACE Project Graduate. “I can do this, I can definitely do something like this.”

One of our eight finalists for the Connecting with Community Awards, ACE Project, has been collaborating with Michigan Rehabilitation Services and local employers to help students with disabilities attain competitive employment. Students from Northview High School struggling with mental and physical disabilities are now being given the chance to work jobs they might struggle to attain.

Kim Norman, the program manager, established a close connection with these students. “At first they might be a little hesitant, but when they find something difficult, we help them through those roadblocks.”

ACE Project is a community collaboration between seven North Kent County school districts, Goodwill Industries, Disability Advocates and Michigan Rehabilitation Services to help these students apply and maintain employment near the end of their high school career.

Continue to follow the Connecting with Community Awards and watch their stories every Friday at 5pm.