REACH students complete project for Panasonic

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Students in the school system’s “Reaching Educational and Career Heights” (REACH) program were commissioned by the human resources department at Panasonic in Peachtree City to produce a paperweight promoting their new motto.

REACH is a program for students with developmental disabilities ages 18-21 that helps them get into the workforce and become independent and productive citizens. Through partnerships with various businesses in the county, they spend one to two days a week working alongside employees performing various duties. These students were previously in the school system’s Community Based Vocational Instructional program at their high schools, and were recommended for REACH by their teachers because they have shown independence and self-discipline.

Patrys Wiid, a human resources employee at Panasonic, commissioned the students to assemble paperweights featuring the new motto: TOGETHER (Trust, Openness, Go, Encouragement, Teamwork, Honesty, Engagement, Respect). The project required students to use many of the same life skills highlighted in the new motto, especially teamwork and encouragement. They worked independently on the project, but helped each other when needed, and offered encouragement when mistakes happened.

Each student signed the paperweight he or she assembled, approximately 400 total. The paperweights were presented to Panasonic’s employees to kick-off the unveiling of the “TOGETHER” motto.

Panasonic recently held a “thank you” ceremony for the students where they got to have lunch with company executives, as well as tour the facility.

“They set up a wonderful experience for our students. The students had the opportunity to get into the cars and see all of the new, cool products Panasonic makes for the car industries in the USA,” said REACH counselor Amor Kok.