Chesapeake Bay Academy and Eggleston
“Bridging the Gap for All.”
Chesapeake Bay Academy is a local independent school here in Hampton Roads, that provides education to children with specific learning disabilities, developmental delays, speech and language impairments, autism, and other health impairments. Chesapeake Bay Academy offers kindergarten through 12th-grade, with most students graduating and heading off to college.
Jared Setnar, the Director of the Upper School, says it is important to make plans and have discussions with the students as they progress. He explained that two-thirds of students will go to college after their senior year; however, there are a few that still are not ready for college, or the college environment would be too stressful for them. Those students typically graduate and then find a hobby or a job. Jared wanted to create a bridge for those students, so they are more successful after school. Jared worked with Eggleston to create a program that allowed senior students to volunteer and learn job skills. Benjamin Adams is the first student in this pilot program.
In September of 2022, Benjamin, a 17-year-old senior, started interning a few days a week at Eggleston. He interns on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a few hours in the morning before heading to school for the rest of his day. Benjamin has been a very hard working intern, and his attention to detail and accuracy have made him a huge help during his time at Eggleston. His supervisor, Toshiko, says, “He is shy but very respectful”. Benjamin enjoys working alone and is very successful when given specific directions and then allowed to find his own way of completing the tasks such as organizing documents and prepping them for shredding. Toshiko expressed they plan to have Benjamin learn to scan documents and try some of the other jobs that Eggleston offers, such as the garden center and laundry services to see how he enjoys them.
Benjamin’s mother, Jennifer, stated. “This has been a fantastic experience for him, and he loves going to his internship! Eggleston has been his first real job experience; he has volunteered serval times with FACT camp over the years but never worked in an office-type setting.” Jennifer helped Benjamin with his resume and talked through his interview process with him, but she was very proud of him for going into the interview with Tasha Jones, Eggleston’s Vice President of Rehabilitation Services, and getting through it all by himself. Benjamin told his mom, the reason he loves going to work is that everyone is so nice to him.
The success that Benjamin has had while at Eggleston has provided him with a future plan for after school. When talking with Jared, he explains how much Benjamin loved Chesapeake Bay Academy, his time there, and he didn’t have any idea of what he wanted to do when he graduates this June. This opportunity has opened his eyes and has also opened the eyes of the staff at Chesapeake Bay Academy and Eggleston. Jared stated, “Eggleston is being a real bridge to the setting here, helping him to move on from Chesapeake Bay Academy”. This experience has allowed Benjamin to explore his capabilities and gain the self-confidence to go into the workforce this summer after graduation.
We look forward to seeing Benjamin become successful after graduation and watching him grow. We are excited to continue this partnership with Chesapeake Bay Academy and continue to make Hampton Roads a more accessible community for everyone.