About the Director... John Ficca
John L. Ficca is a Special Educator with a background that includes the U.S. Coast Guard, Hospitality – Culinary Management, and Public School Teaching. His education and certification are in the area of behavioral disorders and he has taught special education students of all grade levels and exceptionalities.
While working with High School Special Education Students, John became frustrated watching young people leave school with few job skills and little hope. Learning disabled students possess a great deal of physical ability and natural talent, however many lack the confidence and academic skills to qualify for college or local vo-techs.
There are others, such as single parents, who are unable to handle the financial and personal demands of long-term educational programs. Many require a more condensed, short-term training program that allows them to quickly obtain employment.
With the help of the Florida Dept. of Education – Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Division of Blind Services, and Hyatt, Mr. Ficca developed the program to assist what he calls "the in-betweeners", those whose performance levels far exceed their academic test scores. "This population thrives on experiential environments, not classroom settings". John even returned to school to learn American Sign Language so that he could better communicate with his students who are deaf. "I don't want to wait for an interpreter when I need to compliment or correct a student. Students who are deaf deserve immediate feedback and an opportunity to discuss their progress, issues, or simply ask questions without having to utilize an interpreter".
The program was developed to assist learning disabled and physically disabled adults so that they may lead more productive lives and experience success rather than rejection.