Adrian Cortes’ special education program at Camas High School covers lessons both inside and outside the classroom. One common theme of those lessons?
Cortes helps special-needs students learn to navigate a variety of real-world scenarios. Often, they use transit to make that happen.
“We’re working on skills with them in terms of to get them ready for their post-high school lives,” Cortes says. “That’s anything from accessing public transportation to being able to go to a bank and do their banking with a checking account, or go to the grocery store, or many other things within the community that they will need to have good solid skills when they leave high school.”
Cortes – who also happens to be mayor of Battle Ground and a member of the C-TRAN Board of Directors – says those outings have been a little less frequent this year with numerous health restrictions in place. But those skills are no less valuable. Cortes still sees the growth in his students as they learn new skills and gain confidence over time. He still hears from parents telling him how much they appreciate the program, he says.
“It really hits home and makes it really meaningful to me, that the work that I’m doing is very critical, and the support that I’m getting from agencies like C-TRAN to be able to make that happen.”
Cortes took several of his students on a recent outing to iQ Credit Union in Vancouver to do some banking. C-TRAN provided the transportation. See the video below to go along for the ride: