EL PASO — Place yourself in the shoes of a graduating high school senior, approaching the real world unaware of what to expect. Now place yourself in the shoes of a graduating high school senior with a disability. As appealing the idea of college may seem, most graduating students with disabilities lack the confidence and resources they need to get there. The El Paso del Norte Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) is a local community event that happens once a year in October. The forum has been around for 12 years strong and is going on its 13th year.
EL PASO — Shirt tucked in, apron on, sipping her morning coffee15 minutes past opening, Vanessa Parralounges on the restaurant’s takeout bench waiting for her shift to begin scrolling through the social media on her phone. Briefly scanning the front entryway for any approaching guests, she couldn’t be any more prepared for the day’s lunch crowd. But the unpredictability of the amount of income she will receive that day from tips worries her. It’s a constant worry. The job puts money in her pocket at all times and that is a plus, however, she never knows how much that will be.