Saturday, February 24
Transition Exploration Day is Friday, February 16. While this is a biennial event, for Cheryl Bremer, this day has been a long time in coming. Cheryl is the department chair for Special Education for the School of Education at Grace College. She also serves as the faculty sponsor for the student-led chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
What is a Transition Exploration Day? It is a day for high school students with exceptionalities to be hosted by Grace College and explore what the transition to post-high school life can look like.
What makes 2018’s Transition Exploration Day special is that Tim Tebow will be sharing at the chapel service on campus that day. Among the many people that will be in attendance that day are 250 students from six area schools. This is a special year, and the number of attendees reflects that.
The Council for Exceptional Children is a professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities. We accomplish our mission through advocacy, standards, and professional development.
This is a national accrediting program, developing the standards used at Grace. Very active in the state of Indiana, Grace’s chapter of the CEC has been student run since 2009. Cheryl serves on the state board of the CEC and ensures that Grace students receive the full experience of being a part of this chapter.
By paying national dues, students receive benefits and resources, such as professional development. Students also partake in community outreach, investing in the school systems through lunch buddy programs, peer mentor programs and local organizations such as Joe’s Kids and Take-A-Break, serving those affected by disabilities. Students also help with campus awareness, making sure people know and understand and love, despite what makes us each unique. They will host a Disability Awareness Week each year.
Then there is the Transition Exploration Day itself. Juniors and Seniors from area schools are invited to Grace College for the day. They participate in chapel, which has previously hosted speakers Henry Winkler (actor), Scott Rigsby (Double Amputee and Ironman Triathlon Champion) and, most recently, Eric Alexander, a mountaineer who leads people with disabilities to mountain tops.
Then the students are invited to a transition exhibition, where many local businesses will be present, to display booths of opportunities and resources for students after they graduate. In order to give them a complete college visit experience, students are also given a tour of campus. The entire day is highlighted with a meal at Alpha Dining Commons.
This Exceptional Year
Most years see 50-60 students, but Cheryl is planning on 250 students this year, because of her realized dream of having Tim Tebow come to share on that day. Tebow has long been famous for his athletic achievements and his unrelenting dedication to bring glory to God.
Cheryl’s purpose is to help her students become leaders, learn how to educate and lead others. She focuses her energy on the student executive board, mentoring them. In this way, she models for them a method which ensures the continuation of the program.
But he also uses his foundation to sponsor A Night to Shine, a prom night experience for people with special needs ages 14 and older. Held on February 9 of this year at First Christian Church in Warsaw, the Grace chapter of CEC was involved and volunteered to make the night a success.
This is what Grace College seeks to be about in each of their 70+ majors. It’s about exploring the passions of the students and connecting them with opportunities to use those in the community, all while receiving an excellent education. If you would like to explore a future of connecting with your areas of passion, follow the link.