Chesterfield cadet program builds confidence in young adults with disabilities

  • Source: Chesterfield Observer
  • Published: 04/10/2019 01:04 PM

On a frigid early December morning, Travis Akins stood at the front of a conference room in the county’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courthouse and took a deep breath, preparing to tell a group of parents something they might not be ready to hear. “We’re not going to baby your sons,” said Akins, a Chesterfield native and founder of Growth Through Opportunity, a 16-week program that provides young adults who have a variety of physical and/or intellectual disabilities with hands-on learning experiences, skill- and confidence-building and socialization through training alongside local first responders. “You have to turn the reins loose, parents,” he said, his voice rising as he gestured toward five young men sitting in the first row of chairs at the program’s Chesterfield kickoff.


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