“We believe that students they — they succeed and learn better by doing,” Community Relations Director for Independence Inc. Taylor Heine said.

At Independence Inc., staff work to empower those with disabilities to participate in their community. Recently they found a new way of doing that.

“It is a pilot program — so it’s an experiential learning program designed to introduce students with disabilities to different industries and help prepare them for life following graduation,” Heine said.

Career Connections is a virtual and hands-on way for students to see the behind-the-scenes at local businesses. And the first session took students into the kitchen of Prairie Sky Breads in downtown Minot.

The idea came about after students expressed interest in learning about the restaurant industry.

“There’s alot of equipment and things that aren’t in a kitchen at your house and so I’m pretty excited to be able to show them our big oven and show them what goes into the daily operations of a working bakery, ” Co-owner of Prairie Sky Breads Jazmine Schultz said.

Students got to go on an overall site-tour, see different jobs throughout the bakery, and even tried their hand at making a pizza.

Heine says this brings students more than a fun activity for to participate in, the program aims to leave a long-lasting impact to help students navigate their job search.

“I’m really excited to see students discover their passions — and then seeing them start to prepare for that career earlier on in life and developing those plans — so that’s the really beautiful thing about this program,” Heine added.

To learn more about the program and how to participate, click here.