Transition Conference spotlights 'place for everyone after high school'

Published 03.12.2021


On the one-year anniversary of Gov. Tom Wolf’s statewide school shutdown, BLaST Intermediate Unit 17 and Pennsylvania College of Technology partnered to host their annual Transition Conference.

The virtual event welcomed approximately 150 participants and provided breakout sessions in the areas of postsecondary transition: education and training, employment, and independent living.  Postsecondary transition vendors were available to answer questions about the services they offer, and the event concluded with a student and parent panel.

Keynote speaker Amber Logan shared a message with students on self-advocacy, how she transitioned from high school and what living her "everyday life" looks like.

“You have to believe it to achieve it,” she said. “I walk with my head up and I’m proud to be me.” Logan shared her passion and involvement with the Diverse Ability Board, Drums Alive and monthly coffee group. Her message to parents was to “help students be the best they can be.”

Logan’s sister, Erica Hoyt, also shared her perspective on some of the challenges that Amber has overcome and how that inspired her to become a special education teacher with IU 17.

“Secondary transition ensures students with special needs go on to do amazing things after graduation,” said Jeff Pelly, transition consultant for BLaST. “Be it college, a trade school, straight to work or engaging within their community, there is a place for everyone after high school. BLaST IU 17 is honored to have partnered with Penn College to bring this conference to students and families within our region. Attendees received useful insight and inspiration that will support their own transition in the near future and beyond."

“The Transition Conference is designed to provide students and their parents/guardians with information and resources about transitioning to life after high school,” explained Dawn Dickey, director of disability services at Penn College. “Making connections to the necessary support can assist students with overcoming potential obstacles and achieving their dreams. The collaboration among members of our community and BLaST IU 17 made this conference possible and we appreciate everyone’s support.”