Turning Ambitions into Reality with the Help of Voc Rehab

Helping people with brain injury, like this young man, figure out what they want to do with their lives is crucial. Dr. Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa, talks about how vocational rehab can make all the difference.

See more video clips with Dr. Haarbauer-Krupa.

[Dr. Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa] We had one young man go to art school. He had his injury as the result of violence in his community. He came to use the first year—a very, very talented artist, incredibly— and was in art in high school. His family chose that he graduate. He was done with high school—he was sitting at home. Occasionally he would go to work with his mom—nothing toward his career trajectory. So the first year he came, we connected him to voc rehab, and he was very concerned going to their office to meet with them in his community because of what happened to him. We learned six months after that the family and he did not follow through with what we suggested, so we invited him to come back again. And this time we talked to his family about other resources that might get him— and I also brought in a voc counselor from the state who interviewed him while he was in our program and brought him eligible. I'm happy to say he's in art school. And he's in art school for several reasons. One is that there was a cousin who graduated from high school who was going to that art school and could pick him up and take him. But also voc rehab got involved to pay for it. It took a long time because he was very worried about going out in his community, especially since he had slowed physically since his injury, but he's doing very well. So he kind of failed because he graduated from high school and never really got started in what he wanted to do. The other kids we know of—they're still at the community college or small college phase, so it's too soon for us to say that they're out working as a result of our efforts, which is really our goal. Our goal in our program is to make sure that teens get education and instruction. They need to pursue a career that they're interested in. That interest is a key factor—knowing what they're interested in. What they may have had experience with prior to their injury is very important, too.
Posted on BrainLine July 2, 2013.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough, Justin Rhodes, and Lara Collins, BrainLine.