New Horizons Employee Scott Jones Receives 2015’s The La Rocca Award

In his spare time – whenever he is able to find it – Scott Jones is a musician and member of a band. He also teaches students how to play guitar.

Each year the Sunair Children’s Foundation recognizes an employee of a non-profit organization for their dedication to the cause of children and young people, by presenting him or her with a $500 cash award know as “The La Rocca Award.”

This year Scott Jones, a member of New Horizons staff, is this the proud recipient of such an honor.

Scott has been employed by New Horizons since 2012.  He currently works in the agency’s Employment Services Department as a Pathways instructor where he councils individuals with special needs, between the ages of 18 and 22, on how to secure meaningful work within the community. Like most young people who find themselves at a crossroad after graduating high school; those with disabilities often have heightened anxiety when it comes to entering into the work force.  They wonder if that which society sees as limitations will prevent them from being accepted and successful on the job site.

Jones has dedicated his career at New Horizons to answering that question.  He operates from the notion that anyone can succeed at work, while taking on the responsibility of making that happen.  Through Pathways, Jones leads several six month sessions a year in preparing young people with special needs for employment.  His curriculum includes updating resumes, filling out job applications, preparing for interviews, learning how to take public transportation, offering practical tools for relating to bosses and co-workers, and providing work experience with local businesses like Kohl’s, Jons Marketplace, and California State University Northridge.  Through Jones’ dedication and ability to go above and beyond, he creates a “cannot fail environment” for his students.  As a result of his commitment, more than 80% of the individuals enrolled in his classes are able to effectively move on to supported employment at a point where they feel independence, belonging, and self-confidence.  This is not a small achievement since it allows those who have been told all their young lives that they have limitations to feel limitless.

Scott Jones will be presented with his award at the annual Sunair Recognition Luncheon on Saturday, NOvember 21, 2015 at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles.  He will be attendance along with other members of the New Horizons staff who will be on hand to say, “congratulations!”