Youth Transition Program

Rupa with Walgreens coworkers


At The Chicago Lighthouse, we create a nurturing environment that supports people who are blind and vision impaired in all areas of life. Our Youth Transition Program provide teens and young adults
(ages 15 – 24) with the tools they need for independence. We host a variety of experiences designed for youth who intend to live independently, seek competitive employment, and/or attend a vocational training program or college upon graduation from high school. We’ll work with each participant to address his or her individual needs and challenges.

See our schedule of upcoming sessions *(more to come):

  • 4th Annual Career Fair
    February 28, 2019 | RSVP by Feb. 21 | Chicago Lighthouse North
    The Career Fair provides a unique opportunity to interact with business leaders, successful adults, and recent college grads, all of whom are vision impaired. Participants have the opportunity, along with their teachers and families, to hear mentors’ stories, build their networks and explore career possibilities. Mentors have included lawyers, financial advisors, entrepreneurs, musicians, directors, technology experts, administrators and college students. Lunch
    is provided as a time to network and socialize. The afternoon session is a discussion featuring businesses that hire people with vision impairments, as well as professionals who work in employment services.

First Jobs Program | Training Week June 24 – 28, 2019 | 6 week paid internship to follow

Enrollment for 2019 is now open.  Please complete the pre-assessment form to sign up for First Jobs Program.

This unique vocational program combines classroom learning, on-site orientation and paid work experience for youth who are blind or vision impaired. During the first week, students attend classes on resume writing, career planning, disability disclosure, nonverbal communication skills, self-advocacy, conflict resolution and mock interviewing. An orientation and mobility specialist helps each student orient to his or her workplace. Together with the team, First Jobs participants learn to function confidently and independently in their jobs. For the next six weeks, they will work at a designated site as paid intern employees, with the possibility for competitive employment.


Summer in the City (SitCity) | June Dates TBD | July 7 – 12, 2019

Enrollment for 2019 is now open. Please complete the pre-assessment form to sign up for Summer in the City.

Summer in the City is a five-day residential program designed to assist youth who are blind or visually impaired as they learn and practice basic life skills. By combining life-skill lessons with adventures and socialization, students overcome their hesitations and fears. Summer in the City youth spend the week living in a dorm environment in Chicago, where they attend daily classes in technology, mobility, communications, fitness and daily living skills. During the afternoons and evenings, participants travel throughout the city on foot, as well as by bus and train, to explore Chicago’s many attractions, such as Wrigley Field, Shedd Aquarium and the Lincoln Park Zoo. They also enjoy theater, boating, indoor skydiving, and rock climbing, while sampling a variety of cuisines in Chicago’s many restaurants. Students make lasting friendships as they connect and bond with peers who experience the same challenges.


Saturday Seminars

Saturday Seminars provide a critical supplement to students’ high school learning. This series of monthly seminars is held at The Chicago Lighthouse North in Glenview. Each day-long program covers a topic of particular relevance to youth with vision impairment, such as guide dogs, cooking, money management, scholarships, skiing and more. Each class features a complimentary lunch as an opportunity to build social skills, practice table manners and create friendships. These seminars extend the Youth Transition Program beyond the summer.

For more information, please contact:

Shelle Hamer
Manager, Youth Transition Program
(847) 510-2055
Email Shelle