The Governor's Council on Disability (GCD) announced winners for the 2022 annual recognition awards today. Winners exemplify standards of excellence in enhancing life for individuals living with disabilities.
Among those recognized, is Brock Sousa from Hannibal High School, receiving Honorable Mention:
"Brock Sousa is a teacher for the Hannibal Public High School, but other titles include coach, advocate, mentor, friend, and jack-of-all-trades. Sousa embodies inclusion and employment first in a rural area. He has been helping others see the importance of a diverse workforce, inclusive practices, and community outreach opportunities.
This started with the BEST Program (Basic Employment Skills Training) in 2017. The program has collaborated with Hannibal Regional Hospital, GAMM (Workforce Development), Vocational Rehabilitation, Learning Opportunities Quality Works, and two County Senate Bill 40 boards. In the first BEST year, four students applied for jobs and began working at Hannibal Regional during the school day through the school year. Sousa made sure that students received the same orientation and followed all hospital guidelines just as every other hospital employee and he ensured that the hospital received specialized training on inclusive workplace practices. Today, the program has grown to 16 students, 4 community job sites, and many continued agency partnerships.
Sousa continues to encourage and implement tiered programs to prepare students throughout their middle and high school careers to prepare for the BEST Program by running a high school coffee shop, filling vending machines for the school, and engaging in life skills training. He strives to give students every opportunity possible to gain work experience and access to their local communities so that they can be included and involved. Sousa’s efforts and impact will continue to evolve for generations to come. As the quote from Verna Myers goes, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” As for Brock Sousa and those he engages with, the dancing never stops."
Read the entire news release from the Office of Administration at https://oa.mo.gov/commissioner...