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Belton ISD bond proposal would benefit program for young adults with different abilities

The district's bond election would give it's "Delta Program" students a new space to learn skills that would help them in life after high school.

BELTON, Texas — Belton Independent School District offers a program that helps 18 to 22 year olds with different abilities transition into the adult world after high school.

It's called the Delta Program and it offers adult students training in things like job placement, volunteering and life skills. It can help those in the program make their dreams come true, too.

Like Ashlyn Jackman who wants to become a pre-school teacher or teacher's aid.

She's 18-years-old and just moved from Utah to Central Texas with her family after graduating high school.

Ashlyn's future was a big question mark when her mom, Heidi Jackman, couldn't find many opportunities for adults with different abilities.

"What do I do with her all day?" Jackman wondered about her daughter who loves staying busy and hanging out with people. "You know, what is she going to do? What opportunities does she have to fulfill her dreams?"

Jackman wanted her daughter to have a purpose and that's when they stumbled across Belton ISD and it's Delta Program.

"It just kind of took that weight off my shoulder a little bit," Jackman said.

The district has partnered with about ten Belton businesses to provide paying jobs or volunteer opportunities to those in the program and they're always looking for more.

Kitty Corsi, a special education coordinator for Belton ISD says the Delta Program is fulfilling for both the Central Texas community and the student-adults who are apart of it.

"I think it's important for everyone in the community to have fulfillment and purpose in their life," she said. "We have students who have different capabilities, but capabilities that can be used in our local workforce and who are willing, able and just a joy to have."

Ashlyn is currently working at the pre-school, nursery and food pantry.

"I really like the pre-school a lot because I love all the little kids; if you can't tell," she said.

Ashlyn told 6 News when she is not working for local businesses, she is at school learning things like how to cook food or shop for groceries.

"I think it's really important to me because it's part of my life and I want to keep going, going and going," Ashlyn added.

As of now, there are 27 students in the Delta Program. Supervisors tell 6 News they expect it to increase by 25 percent in the next year. Problem is, they're running out of space as the program is being run out of 3 classrooms at the district's high schools.

"It was designed for classroom space and for students ninth through twelfth grade, so we're doing the best we can with the space that's available and adapting it for our students who have really these more adult needs" Corsi said. "Several of them are in wheelchairs and have other equipment that are necessary for them and space is getting very tight. We also have the laundry facilities in that room. So, kind of navigating the space is difficult."

The Delta Program would get a new space if Belton's Proposition A passes in May.

RELATED: Two propositions worth nearly $174 million to be included on the bond election ballot in Belton

Jackman tells 6 News she would like the space and/or facility of the Delta Program to resemble more of an adult schedule. She doesn't want Ashlyn to feel like she's still in high school when she has graduate and academic are behind her.

"Having a separate facility would really allow her to understand that high school is over and now i'm moving forward in my life," she explained.

So people like Ashlyn can continue their journeys and keep chasing new dreams.

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