MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF)–One local county has a school program that helps prepare students with special needs for life after graduation.  

This unique program helps students with disabilities get valuable work experience.  

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On Monday morning the Marshall County Schools work study program celebrated the end of the year with a banquet at Grand Vue Park. 

The county partners with local businesses so that each student can work and develop the skills necessary to be a great employee.  

Student Riley Elias says she had a great experience.

I did work study. I did everything that is in work study like I did Catholic Charities then I did the hotel.

Riley Elias, 10th grade 

She says she was able to meet new people and make some friends at other schools.

Work Study Coordinator Josie Howard says the students work a few hours a week and always have a advisor present.

They start in August/September, and they work all year. They just finished up in April. They have to work and maintain their school grades.

So basically, at the end of the year, we just want to recognize them and the fact that they were able to keep their grades up, become successful members of our community.

Josie Howard, Work Study Coordinator, Marshall County Schools 

Howard says it’s unbelieved how far these kids have come.  

She says they currently work with nine different work sites such as Ace Hardware, Quality Bakery, and Marshall County Animal Shelter.  

However, they are always looking for new sites to expand the program 

If you are interested in participating next year you can go through the Marshall County Schools special education department.