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GPS Transition Program students get day of fun at Alta Climbing

Gold celebrating the best of GPS!

A male student in the GPS transition program is seen climbing very tall towers that resemble buildings.Gilbert Public Schools has always been supported by the surrounding community, so it’s no surprise that two local businesses have stepped up to help our GPS family! Alta Climbing and Fitness hosted a day of fun for more than 40 students in our GPS Transition Program. The students spent several hours at the climbing facility doing all sorts of interactive activities, from rock and boulder climbing to a POUND Workout class. The free celebratory event was organized by Jeff Hill, a local franchise owner of Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

Hill has also teamed up with Gilbert Public Schools to launch a train-to-hire program for GPS Transition Services, and it’s the first of its kind in the East Valley. It launched in February 2023. Students in the program gain job experience by volunteering at his Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations, learning everything from food preparation to service.

“We’re going to have five (locations) in total, so I would like to see all five of them have at least two people come in with the idea that they get trained and we employ them when they graduate,” he said.

The GPS Transition program is located on the campus of Gilbert Classical Academy. It offers high school students ages 18-22 support with building communication skills, self-advocacy, meal planning and food preparation, community participation, work readiness, vocational exploration, and much more. 

To learn more about GPS Transition Services and the department’s programs, please visit our district website!

Written by Kailey Latham, Photo by Jonason Pauley