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Youth Supports

Spectrum Support offers activities for high school students 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.


Our services focus on the development of skills that will support each students’ transition from high school to an independent adulthood. In partnership with other organizations within the community, Spectrum creates a holistic service delivery model that promotes the ability for each youth and their family to Live Their Best Life.

Youth services

Youth empowerment program (yep!) - frederick co. Only

Through the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP!), Spectrum helps each student to Live Their Best Life by connecting them to resources to support their individual goals in various aspects of their lives. Our holistic service delivery model prepares youth to transition from high school to the workforce by addressing goals of:

  • money management
  • pre-employment
  • life skill development
  • personal safety
  • friendship development
  • recreation
  • spirituality
  • education
  • transportation

Beginning as early as age 14, youth participate in development activities in their home, community and employment sites. Spectrum also aims to connect members of the youth’s family to additional services to promote holistic supports for each family unit.

Youth employment services

Spectrum Support provides employment development and training activities to help youth explore opportunities for future careers. During the school year, youth have the opportunity to participate in activities for:

  • customized career development
  • job readiness training
  • interpersonal skill development
  • connecting to colleges, trade schools, and industry-specific certifications

Students are offered opportunities for continuous training and paid employment during the summer. Those who participate in the summer program typically work for eight weeks at a job site that matches their interests and skillsets. Spectrum’s staff provide the supports that each student needs to be successful at their job placement. This support may be in the form of:

  • Initial on-site job training
  • full-time job coaching (as needed)
  • drop-in assistance
  • monitoring of the student’s performance

The level of support a student receives is individualized and based on the based on the amount of support needed to be successful and as independent as possible. Spectrum helps to Live Their Best Lives by providing the tools and supports they need for greater independence, full inclusion, and active participation in their communities and to achieving their employment goals.

Communities we support

Spectrum currently provides supports in the following communities in Maryland:

  • Allegany County – Limited Services
  • Carroll County
  • Frederick County
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 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.”