Collaboration Strengthens Futures














[Ashley and Dana with their midterm projects (Above: Ashley, Below: Dana)]

Think Ahead is a program for young adults with disabilities, and is operated by Dutchess Community College (DCC) with support from Abilities First and other non-profit organizations in the area, in collaboration with Dutchess County Government’s ThinkDIFFERENTLY initiative. The program’s purpose is to help students develop job and life skills while enjoying a college experience. Students spend time in classroom instruction, work internships, and engaging in social activities with college peers.

Ashley A. and Dana A. attend Think Ahead as part of the Abilities First Pre-Vocational Program. They both recently completed a module on immigration and their midterm project, which focused on exploring their heritage.

“Ashley’s project was on her Irish ancestors and Dana’s was on her Puerto Rican ancestors,” said Robin Brownell, Community Pre-Vocational Program Coordinator at Abilities First. “They both did a wonderful job and put a lot of hard work and thought into it.”

Dana took a moment to tell us more about her experience at DCC:

Dana is 20 years old and is from Somers. She enjoys her classes at DCC, especially computers where she learns Microsoft programs like Excel and works with numbers. While working on her project (pictured here), Dana learned about her Puerto Rican ancestry. She heard about her grandmothers taking two planes to come from Puerto Rico and how her family ended up in California. Following her two years in the program Dana would like to go into Nursing so she can help people.

To learn more about the Abilities First Pre-Voc program and THINK AHEAD at Dutchess Community College, go to: