Emerging Adult Supports

Career Exploration Opportunities for Individuals Ages 14-21

Youth referred and funded by DORS (Division of Rehabilitative Services) will have opportunities to channel their passions, dreams, and career aspirations into real paid work experiences at a community employer.

Spectrum Support offers activities for high school students (with disabilities or who have an IEP or 504 plan) who would like to gain work experience and opportunities for personal development. During the summer and throughout the school year, youth are offered an array of activities, including employment and transitional support to adult services.

Mission Stories about Emerging Adults

Harris is a 19 year old that loves exploring and getting to know new people. Harris loves playing Boccee and Basketball.

He has volunteered at many locations in his community and received praise on his never faltering smile. Harris can be spotted all over town ready to talk and make new friends.

He works hard to learn new skills every day and become more independent in his home. He developed skills in retail and was recently commended by the supervisor on his customer service and dedication.

Diego graduated from Allegany High School in May 2019. He, with the support of his family, volunteered to participate in a summer jobs program funded by the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS).

DORS offers opportunities to students with disabilities to gain paid work experience at local employers each summer. In Cumberland, Spectrum partnered with the local DORS office and Maryland’s Department of Labor’s (DOL) Western Maryland Consortium to provide job coaching supports to 4 students in the Summer of 2019, one of which was Diego.

Diego was placed at the Y Family Center in Cumberland for his summer work experience. According to Janice Cannon, the Director of the Y Family Center, “Diego was an excellent participant and assisted with several different jobs. He was supervised in the child development room and directed in certain activities with toddlers. He assisted with maintenance and helped with daily facility upkeep duties. Diego helped with special events and setting up the site. He worked with crafts and other projects. He was always positive and willing to help and do anything requested.”

Janice also stated that Spectrum Support staff “checked with Diego and staff to offer support or assistance as needed.”

Janice added, “We enjoyed having Diego and would welcome him again to the Center. He was a pleasant and hard-working intern.

Spectrum Support provides employment development and training activities to help youth explore opportunities for future careers.

Emerging Adult Supports are currently offered in the following communities:

  • Allegany County, Maryland
  • Baltimore Region, Maryland
  • Carroll County, Maryland
  • Frederick County, Maryland
  • Howard County, Maryland

Two programs are offered that support Emerging Adults:

Emerging Adult Employment Services

Students age 14-21 referred & funded by DORS (Division of Rehabilitative Services) will have opportunities to channel their passions, dreams, and career aspirations into real paid work experiences at a community employer.

Spectrum supports students to Live their Best Lives by providing the tools and support they need for greater independence, full inclusion, and active participation in their communities. This helps them achieve their employment goals.

The level of support a student receives is individualized and based on the amount of support needed to be successful and as independent as possible.

Our employment team will assist in:

  • Developing a 4-8 week paid work experience
  • Encouraging the growth of students’ skills that are needed to maintain employment
  • Job Expectations training
  • Interpersonal skill development
  • Hands-on support with completing employee onboarding

Youth Empowerment Program (YEP!)

– Only available in Frederick County, MD –

How do you and/or your child envision their living situation in 5 years, 10 years, or 15 years from now? Do they have the tools to live as independently as possible?

The Youth Empowerment Program helps the whole family work together to establish and achieve goals of independence, employability, and socialization to empower a student with a disability’s successful transition into life after school.

Spectrum’s coordinators work one on one with the student, their family member(s) and members of their school team to help establish the routines, build the skills, and monitor the progress towards the long-term goals that you and your child help to define.

Below is a sample of what you and your student may choose to work on with Spectrum’s support. This is just one way for the student and their family to begin to take ownership of their lives and feel empowered to create their own individual path to adulthood!

After a thorough assessment of the student’s current skill levels, staff will work hands-on in the home each week to enhance life skills such as:

    • Prepping food for a well-balanced diet
    • Cooking meals
    • Developing routines within the home (cleaning, chores) to reinforce personal accountability
    • Advocating for their own interests

Staff will also work to develop community skills such as:

    • Making connections with community members and building friendships
    • Using public transportation safely in order to independently navigate the community
    • Learning work skills at a community-based employer while being paid wages
    • Learning to establish healthy boundaries
    • Exploring various hobbies to discover interests
    • Volunteering to learn the importance of giving back to the community


Support Services Interest Form

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We have various programs for individuals age 14 and older.