Pine Bluff School District’s Special Education Department hosted Jefferson County’s annual transition fair March 27. The theme was “Your Education Matters.”

The purpose of the transition fair is to introduce high school students to the wide array of resources available to them across the state after graduation, according to Pine Bluff School District special education director Stephaney Bennett. This initiative teaches students how to become self advocates.

“The fair is a forum that helps special education high school scholars access resources to assist them in their transition from high school to independent living,” according to a news release.

The ultimate goal, according to Bennett, is to provide students with educational opportunities that can prepare them to become contributing members of society.

Pine Bluff Superintendent Jeremy Owoh welcomed approximately 200 students from Pine Bluff, Dollarway, White Hall and Watson Chapel school districts.

“He stressed the importance of taking advantage of opportunities that will ultimately enhance their knowledge base,” according to the release. “Dr. Owoh reminded scholars that education matters to them individually and to others because once you have an education, no one can take it away from you. Additionally, he reminded scholars that education can open several doors and create opportunities for them.”

Twenty vendors from across the state shared with students the multitude of resources available to them once they graduate from high school. The transition fair included presentations by vendors and service providers, visits to various booths, an impromptu talent show, a question and answer session and lunch.

Bennett thanked Jacqueline Norful and the PBSD special education department for supporting the project.

The district thanked Barbara Williams for spearheading the initiative and the participating vendors including ACCESS Inc., Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, Arkansas Training Institute, Arkansas Department of Career Education, Arkansas Enterprises for the Developmentally Disabled, Arkansas Workforce Center, Disability Rights Arkansas Inc., Division of Services for the Blind, Jenkins Memorial Center, Project Search – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Relyance Bank, Shorter College, Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District - WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), Southeast Arkansas Independent Living Services, The Center for Exceptional Families, Think Work 1st and UAPB Recruitment.