The Pre-Employment Program team consists of Perkins School for the Blind educators with vast experience in vocational training and learning with blindness, as well as hiring experts, disability specialists and successful professionals who are blind.
Karen Wolffe, expert on career counseling for people who are blind, content contributor
The Pre-employment Program was designed and created in collaboration with Karen Wolffe. She has worked with the American Foundation for the Blind as Director of Professional Development and CareerConnect. Prior to that, she directed the Job Readiness Clinic, an applied learning lab for people with disabilities looking for work, at the University of Texas. Today she works privately as a career counselor and consultant in Austin, Texas.
Courtney Wescott, Perkins School for the Blind, Co-Facilitator
Courtney Wescott is the Coordinator of Outreach Short Courses at Perkins School for the Blind, where she recruits public school students to attend programming geared toward teaching the Expanded Core Curriculum. A graduate of Fitchburg State University, she began her career at Perkins as a teaching assistant before moving on to fill various roles in the Secondary Program. She is currently enrolled to be a graduate candidate of the Vision Studies, Vision Rehab Therapy cohort at the University of Massachusetts Boston to further her passion for providing safe, supportive environments where children of all abilities can come together to socialize and learn.
Emily Cantillon, Perkins School for the Blind, Co-Facilitator
Emily Cantillon has worked for Perkins as an itinerant certified teacher of the visually impaired since the fall of 2017, primarily serving students in northeast Massachusetts. In 2018, she graduated from the University of Northern Colorado, receiving her Masters of Arts for Teaching the Visually Impaired.
Kristen Clark, Perkins School for the Blind, Co-Facilitator
Kristen Clark is the Assistant Education Director with Community Programs at Perkins. She first joined Perkins in 2016, serving as an itinerant teacher covering central and southern Massachusetts. A Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS), she also supports and co-facilitates Perkins’ Pre-Employment Program, focusing on areas of mobility, transportation and community outings. She began her career in school systems as a Physical Therapist Assistant.
Patrick Gilman, Perkins School for the Blind, Co-Facilitator
Patrick Gilman is a teacher with Community Programs at Perkins. He’s been with Perkins since 2014, previously working in the Secondary Residential Program and with a number of Outreach Programs. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of New Hampshire in 2013.
Panelists and speakers
PEP students have benefitted from the insight of representatives from corporate and nonprofit Perkins Business Partnership partners, including WinterWyman, Tufts Health Plan, Partners Continuing Care, Inc. (PCC) and Perkins School for the Blind.