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TIERRA DEL SOL’S COLLEGE TO CAREER PROGRAM, NEXUS

College. Internship. Employment: A naturally sought-after transition for most young adults in today’s working world.

A college education
 proves to employers that an applicant is able to manage his/her 
workload, social life, and life changes successfully. It also shows that the applicant has the ability to succeed in a variety of environments: The home, the workplace, and the classroom.

NEXUS 2.0: A College-to-Career Program Model is designed around integrated, college-level, and career-oriented coursework. With the right supports, NEXUS participants prove to themselves and future employers that they can succeed in the workplace, and in adult life.

Tierra del Sol supports more than 150 young adults annually to succeed in school at California State University Northridge, College of the Canyons and Los Angeles Valley, Mission, and Pierce Colleges as well as West Valley Occupational Center.

NEXUS 2.0 is a three-phased model program which includes an intensive period of discovery, an extended time to conclude the educational path desired by each student and a short-term non-paid internship phase. This final one-year phase is intended to prepare newly launched college students into full immersion in the work environment to ensure a successful transition from student to employee. Some of our current internship partners include:

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NEXUS Internship Partners

We see our partnership as a two-way street.  When you hire a Tierra graduate, you get more than a well trained person.  You get a dedicated employee who wants to work and has the skills to perform at the level you need.”

– Pegi Matsuda, Senior Vice President of Community Relations at Valley Presbyterian Hospital

At Tierra, we believe partnerships are a win-win-win!

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Profile: Felipe, A Mission College Student

Going to college is a choice many people have the opportunity to make, knowing that the road ahead will be a challenging one. For some, the choice is encouraged, even expected. For others, college is considered downright impossible. Felipe Alfaro is a phenomenal individual who understands what it means to defy the impossible. Along with 150 other students in Tierra’s NEXUS College to Career Program, he is surpassing all expectations and discovering his greatest intellectual and personal potential, despite what he was told he could or could not do.

Since its inception in 2007, NEXUS has provided academic and professional skills mentorship to hopeful undergrads who experience the program through the process of a three phase model – Discovery, Education, and Internship. With partnerships at Los Angeles Valley, Mission, and Pierce Colleges, as well as West Valley Occupational Center, and California State University Northridge (CSUN), individuals with developmental disabilities are obtaining certifications and degrees, and ultimately transitioning into meaningful employment.

Felipe, reflecting on his fourth and final week in Discovery, exclaims, “I toured CSUN, Pierce College, and West Valley, but I really liked CSUN!” While it’s only been one month for Felipe and his cohorts, the skills and knowledge obtained during Discovery will impact NEXUS students the rest of their lives. NEXUS Program Director, Gricelda Gonzalez, explains, “Discovery is an intense 30-day phase that is critical for our clients. They explore local industries for prospective employment/volunteer opportunities, visit colleges and map out a plan to help them visualize their goals through PATH: Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope.”

Felipe beamed as he shared, “I’ve completed the Discovery Phase and am going to Mission College!” For clients like Felipe, the individualized support and encouragement from Tierra’s NEXUS staff is what propels them to continue moving forward. NEXUS Intake Coordinator Aaron Riner, shares, “There are no barriers to anything, as long as you have a good support system. We are always here to motivate students, so they can do well and believe that each one of them is capable of accomplishing greatness.”