This summer, the Meijer Disability Awareness and Advocacy Group -- also known as mDAAG -- joined Junior Achievement (JA) and the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) for a volunteering experience they’d never forget.
ABVI’s “Summer in the City” program is a summer experience for blind and visually impaired teens and young adults combining hobby exploration, cooking skills, leadership development, and city bus exposure setting up the foundations for future job opportunities. The program teamed up with JA BizTown®, which combines in-class learning for students with a day-long visit to a simulated town, where they learn real world skills and strategies in navigating everyday life, to bring a special edition of “Summer in the City”.
“The Meijer team was amazing to work with in making this possible for our students,” said Clare Shubert, Capstone Director at Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes. “It’s incredibly heartwarming to hear they all expressed interest in either volunteering again or learning more about how to get their own kids’ schools involved in JA BizTown. Meijer continues to put their communities first and we couldn’t be more grateful for their support.”
ABVI used some of the JA BizTown’s storefronts for “Summer in the City”, teaching teens and young adults with visual impairments life and work-readiness skills inside select storefronts, including Meijer. In fact, the Meijer construction team built the infrastructure to make this happen.
“It was very rewarding to be a part of these students’ journey of discovery of the world of work,” said participating mDAAG team member, Chuck Carnes. “I could see firsthand the sense of achievement as they overcame the challenges of navigating the workplace. I’d love to volunteer again with both JA and ABVI.”
Participating mDAAG members received on-site training before the students arrived and each volunteer was paired with ABVI students to offer guidance as they performed their job duties for the simulated workday, navigated the simulation city, and spent their paycheck at other shops.