We are excited to announce that Zak Van Voorhees has joined our team as Employment Coach for our new adult vocational program, Access-Austin!
Zak is excited to join the Autism Society of Central Texas! For the last several years he has had an incredible amount of diversity in his work experience, but in every role there was the common factor of working with different special needs. He has worked in some of the most challenging and highest performing schools in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has had the unique opportunity to help children with disabilities play baseball on a fully accessible field. The experience that brought him to ASCT was his several years working with a particular family doing therapy for their oldest child, who fell on the spectrum. Zak still thinks of that child as his “younger brother” even though he doesn’t have any siblings technically. When considering what the future could be for his “younger brother” Zak knew finding employment and being independent would not be easy. For Zak improving the employment possibilities for those with autism is not only a career, but a mission for his “younger brother”. Yes, he is another one of those people moving to Austin from out of state. He apologizes in advance for making traffic just that little bit slower. Yes, he absolutely loves cheese as well! As much as he absolutely loved teaching he wanted to do more for the community around him, and did not think being in a classroom was the path for him right now.
His main focus now is the adults of this program as we try to find an employment path for as many adults as possible. Zak has been beyond excited to help in any way he can to make sure everyone with ASCT is successful, in the way they want to be successful!
He wanted to throw in a couple of other random things about him as well just for fun. He is a huge adrenaline junkie in love with roller coasters and was even able to go sky diving this year. His next goal is to go white water rafting. Zak has a love for travel to the point that he lived in Jamaica for a month. He can’t wait to explore the Austin area and all that it has to offer. He will take any suggestions. Most importantly he wants to laugh and smile as much as possible, and more importantly than that is he wants others to smile and laugh more than him!
That’s just a little about him for now. Zak is excited to share more as we all get to know each other! He has heard some wonderful things about this program and the people that are a part of it. He promises to find a way to add to the wonderful in any way he can.
We know Zak’s positive attitude will be a great addition to our team and that the adults in our new program will enjoy working with him! Zak is more than willing to answer as many questions as he can. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.