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Meet Christy Stegman

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Christy StegmanDirector of Community Services – NOVA
Ms. Stegman has remained busy completing WISA (Work Incentives Specialist Advocate) reports remotely. She begins the process by reviewing information over the phone and then sending the documents to the clients by mail to collect signatures. The reports are then written from home. Ms. Stegman offers to schedule a time to review the report remotely with the client, however they have the option to wait until social distancing orders are over to set an appointment to meet in person. For more information about WISA, click this link.

Going Above & Beyond: Setting Up A Virtual Meeting In Farsi

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During the Coronavirus Crisis, The Choice Group continues to offer support to diverse clients in Northern Virginia. After receiving a referral for a woman in her 70’s with no work experience and limited English- speaking skills, a Choice Group manager conducted a virtual meeting in Farsi. Not only was the initial meeting conducted in Farsi, the manager also translated the paperwork into Farsi in order to better serve the client. After explaining the assessment and job development process to the client and her family, the client’s daughter wrote, ““Thank you so much for your kind attention and follow-ups. We are so blessed to have such caring with a golden heart as our counselor. My mother is so happy to find someone who speaks her language and gives her the hope she needs to continue her life. I could see the light of hope in her eyes.”

Front Line Health Care Worker - Project SEARCH

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Following the successful completion of Project SEARCH, our client was hired at the Chesapeake Regional Medical Center as a Care Partner in Surgical Admitting Unit- Phase II. With the COVID-19 Pandemic, all elective surgeries have been cancelled and our client was scheduled to be transferred to a new department. 
Serving her in Long Term Employment Support Services, The Choice Group has had to adjust the ways we support her in this critical role. With The Choice Group staff staying in touch with the client, her mom, and her manager at the Medical Center, we have ensured this frontline employee was able to remain in her current department, in lieu of the scheduled transfer. Further, utilizing remote strategies, her Vocational Counselor was able to ensure our client was able to safely adjust to her new critical roles and responsibilities which include taking employees’ temperatures as they report to work.  
We thank our client for her hard work, dedication to her job and working the frontl…

Charlottesville: PEERS

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PEERS for Young Adults is a 16-week social skills training program designed to help young adults with autism spectrum disorder and other social challenges make and keep friends. The Choice Group began its fourth cohort with a group of young adults and their social coaches in Charlottesville in January 2020. After meeting in person weekly through February, the PEERS instructors took a creative approach in order to comply with COVID-19 social distancing norms and regulations while at the same time ensuring the students could complete all of modules as scheduled. Setting up Zoom meetings and creating Power Point lessons, the PEERS instructors presented the lessons on, “Dating Etiquette”, “Handling Disagreements”, and “Bullying” online. Feedback from the students and their social coaches was positive and the students are scheduled to graduate on time and look forward to continuing their weekly meetings, but as a group social club doing Dungeons and Dragons via Zoom.

Virtual PRE-ETS classes are designed to assist students to identify career interests, develop job seeking skills, and complete applications

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The Choice Group is working together with DARS to identify high school seniors from Fauquier County and Culpeper County to begin two PATHWAYS classes. These virtual PRE-ETS classes are designed to assist students to identify career interests, develop job seeking skills, and complete applications. The students will graduate with an individualized portfolio highlighting their career interests and skills that can be used as roadmaps as they continue on their chosen career paths.  
In collaboration with The Choice Group, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors in the Culpeper DARS office are providing an innovative method of supports for students in Fauquier County Schools. Working with transition staff at the schools, The Choice Group is preparing students with job readiness skills as they assist students with interest inventory assessments and virtual classroom discussions. The Choice Group will utilize the information learned from these virtual classrooms for further assessments as the pan…