Pathways: a Vocational and Life Skills Program


"A Road to Independence"
created by Pathways Students with the assistance of Harbor Media

"Building the vocational potential of youth with disabilities"

  • Pathways Supported Internship Program provides necessary career preparation and work-based learning experiences in order for students to identify and attain career goals.
  • According to the United States Department of Labor, youth need to be exposed to a range of experiences to be successful in choosing a career path, including:
  • Opportunities to engage in a range of work-based exploration activities such as site visits and job shadowing
  • Multiple on-the-job training experiences, including community service (paid or unpaid) that is specifically linked to the content of a program of study and school credit
  • Opportunities to learn and practice their work skills ("soft skills"), and
  • Opportunities to learn first-hand about specific occupational skills related to a career pathway.
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Life Skills

Develops community partnerships with local businesses to create vocational training and internship opportunities to build career paths.

Citizenship is key in building responsible community members and the Pathways members participate in volunteer opportunities for local non-profit organizations as well including food pantries and animal shelters.

Life Skills Training Includes:

  • Social Skills Training both on the job site in the community and in the classroom. Pathways program members participate in community outings with similar programs to develop a peer network for its program members
  • Cooking lessons
  • Money management including: budgeting, comparison shopping and managing Social Security Disability Benefits
  • Community Navigation Skills, community safety, practice with using public transportation, and self awareness when traveling in the community
  • Vocational Soft Skills
  • General Wellness and Physical Activity programming


  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Vocational Skills

The Pathways program at Silver Lake Regional High School supports transition-aged individuals (18 - 22 years old) with disabilities who are ready to learn life skills and vocational skills in community-based work environments.

Pathways’ supported internship model provide students with work experience tailored to their interests and local job market some examples include:

  • Food Service
  • Retail
  • Landscaping/Maintenance
  • General Office Work
  • Customer Service
  • Animal Care

When businesses partner with Pathways, students attend their internship once or twice a week in shifts of 2 - 3 hours. Students are provided reliable transportation and are supported by a job coach or the program coordinator. The day(s), time(s) and scope of work are agreed upon in advance and Pathways staff maintain a running dialogue with our business partners to discuss progress, challenges or changes. Internships run throughout the course of the school year and take place during the traditional school hours.

Building the Bridge to Adult Services

The Pathways Program creates a bridge to adult services including: making connections with the following agencies: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, Department of Developmental Services, Social Security Administration, and Local One Stop Career Centers.

Pathways staff support program members as they apply for state identification and apply for Social Security Disability Benefits.