PosAbilities Academy helps students with disabilities pursue the career of their dreams

Virginia

LEESBURG, Va. (WDVM) — After a two-year pilot program, a new school in Leesburg has opened its doors to the public.

PosAbilities Academy is a special place for special learners. The school helps teens with disabilities find their passion and prepare them for a career.

“Everything that I do is because I have been there as a parent, and I know the struggle,” said Claudia Skinner, founder of PosAbilities Academy.

Skinner searched tirelessly for a vocational program for her teenage daughter Grace, who has down syndrome. Not being able to find the perfect fit, the mom created a school of her own.

“It was just something that happened out of necessity, but then it became my passion,” said the mom.

Students are exposed to different themes each week, learning about career paths through activities. The school partners with specialists tailored to each topic.

Skinner works with each child to show that sometimes, your greatest weaknesses can turn into your biggest strengths.

“How can we make this, something people think are deficits or problems, and change it into your abilities? My main goal is for them to be able to come out of here having a meaningful job,” said Skinner.

From aspiring master chefs to fashion designers and every job in between, graduates of PosAbilities Academy will leave with the tools they need to succeed.

“Hearing them say, ‘I can now have a conversation with a friend, I know what to do in an interview because of you’…That really just touched my heart and I was like, ‘I can’t do anything else,'” said Skinner.

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