Celebrating Success: School to Work Students Shine at Wilton Applebee’s

Jessica Rockhill, the manager at Wilton Applebee’s said the students perform whatever tasks they are given. The students started in the front of the house with easier tasks to see what their capacities were. Applebee’s staff help guide them. Their WSWHE BOCES job coach accompanies them and is an integral support. 

Jack Donaldson, a student from Queensbury UFSD, started at the job site wiping tables and now does food portioning which is a form of prep in the kitchen. Matt Sleight, a student from Galway CSD, also does portioning and will be starting on the dish machine soon. 

“I love the experiences, meeting managers and having fun at jobs,” said Sleight.

“They’re doing a really good job. They’ve all developed very well,” said Rockhill.

Rockhill said the restaurant liked how things were going so much that it wanted to reward the students for their hard work with a special lunch.

“They see the food, they smell it when they’re in the back. So we thought it would be a really nice treat for them to have the same experience as our customers,” said Rockhill.

Laura Rychik, the School to Work teacher, said, “businesses like Applebee’s are essential to our program. Our job is to assist these unique abilitied young adults to become a part of the working world once they leave us. Our students work hard to gain the knowledge and skills needed to perform these tasks. When businesses reward our students, they reinforce the fact that they are an essential part of a team and that their work does not go unnoticed.”

Other current job sites in the School To Work program include the Stewart’s warehouse, Market 32, WSWHE BOCES Operations & Maintenance Department, the Holiday Inn, and Rite Aid.

In the photo (left to right) Ellen Stanzione, the School to Work job coach; Laura Rychik, the School to Work teacher;  Jessica Rockhill, the manager at Wilton Applebee’s; and students Matt Sleight and Jack Donaldson.

For more information about the School To Work Program, click here