On October 2nd everyone who was interested had the amazing opportunity to hear former politician and Professional Cowboy, Billie Sutton, give a speech about Perseverance and Determination. Billie was the keynote speaker for the National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) area events. We had a packed house! Mr. Sutton spoke to everyone about the importance of never giving up, even when things don't go your way. He shared his personal story and experiences and emphasised that he would not have had many of those opportunities had he not had his accident. He took time to answer everyone's questions and sat for a lot of pictures. It sure was a great day at ADVANCE!

Lately the interns have been learning how to keep a safe home and ways to help prevent fires and accidents in the home. So last Wednesday (10/2) YAT went to the south fire station in Brookings and met with fire fighter Pete. Pete showed the interns a few of the different types of fire trucks they have at that station and the many different types of things they have to keep inside the trucks. Interns even saw the city's new Snowbulance! Most importantly, Pete gave an excellent presentation on fire prevention/safety at home and taught the interns such things as feeling a warm the door with the back of their hand instead of the palm. Pete also had a great video game simulation that taught interns how to use an extinguisher properly.

By: Ramona Kauk

Last Wednesday (9/18) YAT was provided the opportunity to tour the Brookings Post Office. Some of the interesting things Postmaster Craig explained were the process of sorting packages, where the mail goes after it is put in a mailbox, and how PO boxes work. Craig also discussed the different types of jobs at the post office such as city and rural carriers, clerks, and the postmaster. Further, he discussed each of their responsibilities and skills beneficial for the job.

By: Ramona Kauk

Every year for the past 11 years, Advance has helped participate in the Brookings Back2School Fundraiser. This project collects school supplies for area kids and then hands them out before school starts. This year we made sure to bring our A game to the Back 2 School Fundraiser! It is a lot of fun to shop and check out all the cool school supplies. The goal was to beat last years number of 62. This year we did that and even more- we raised 94 backpacks filled with supplies for local area kids! Great job everyone!

By: Paige Jorgensen



Internet safety is a crucial part of remaining safe in one's environment. So, who better to ask to come and discuss how to be safe online than our very own IT specialist, Chad Visker. Chad visited YAT last Wednesday (9/11) and gave an excellent presentation on various things such as how to avoid scams and personal information theft, keeping passwords safe, and how to address cyberbullying. Although it was a smaller class than usual at YAT, the interns gained a great amount of knowledge about so many important aspects of remaining safe while using the internet.

By: Ramona Kauk

Last Thursday (9/5) YAT had the pleasure of meeting Jenny Hallan from Independent Living Choices. Jenny provided an overview of the many great services ILC provides such as peer support, advocacy, transition, and independent living skills training. The interns also enjoyed learning about how ILC is a valuable resource for information and education regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act.

By: Ramona Kauk

One of the concepts we teach at YAT to help promote self-advocacy is Person-Centered Thinking (PCT). In fact, each intern develops a one-page profile during their time at YAT. So, to get an even better understanding of PCT, we invited one of our very own internal support coordinators, Sarah Sanger, to provide an overview of PCT and further discuss some of the valuable PCT tools that are beneficial for completing goals, communication, supports, and problem solving.

Thank you Sarah for providing a fantastic presentation on such a powerful topic!

By: Ramona Kauk

On Wednesday YAT met with Jail Administrator Deputy Bart Sweebe for a tour of the Brookings County Jail and courthouse. Deputy Sweebe began the tour with presenting how their fingerprinting machine operates. Each intern volunteered to see how their fingerprints look on the machine. In addition, interns learned about the many different types of jobs and responsibilities each person has at the jail. Such as correctional officers, assistants, and deputies. One of the favorite parts of the tour was going through the tunnel from the jail to the courthouse.

By: Ramona Kauk