WACO Project

Event dates:

June through July 2023

(prerequisite for the HOPS program)

WACO project artThe W.A.C.O. will return to our traditional “in- person” summer program this summer (2022). If this changes, we will contact all applicants as soon as possible. Please remember we will adhere to recommendations of Texas A & M University in accordance with CDC guidelines.

The Work and College Opportunities (W.A.C.O.) project at Texas A&M is a 5-week program held in the summer for adults with a disability.

TWC-VR Transition Services, The Brazos Center for Independent Living (BVCIL) and the Center on Disability and Development collaborate to provide a unique college and employment experience.

Participants receive:

  • Development and instruction in professionalism,
  • Self-determination,
  • Self-advocacy,
  • Teamwork,
  • Assistive technology,
  • Independent living skills, and
  • Other related areas connected to employment and college attendance while participating in a paid work experience in the Bryan/College Station community.

Emphasis areas include:

  • Development of vocational skills,
  • Career exploration, and
  • Independent living skills.

Your acceptance is not guaranteed. A panel of reviewers will score your application after the application deadline. 

Application deadline was March 2023

Apply online with this link

Mentors (STARS) Wanted

Ideal mentors will:

  • Seek opportunities to teach students with disabilities
  • Have experience working with individuals with disabilities (not a requirement)
  • Have work availability up to 10-20 hours per week


Click on the Mentor Application to Apply

About the Program

WACO Project & Brazos Valley SEAL Program

The WACO summer program is moving to a VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE due to the Covid-19 pandemic protocols on face to face gatherings. The WACO event will be held June through July, Monday through Friday of each week. We feel that it is important to the participants and their families to have the weekends for family time. An agenda for WACO with more details will be shared with the participants soon.

WACO Project Trainees

WACO Project trainees participate in specially designed classes on self-advocacy/self-determination and professionalism on the Texas A&M campus and are given the opportunity to audit A&M or Blinn College courses based on their career interests. Their interests are matched with the needs of community business partners, providing trainees with the opportunity to participate in paid work-based learning experiences as interns in integrated job sites.

For five weeks, trainees attend classes during the morning hours; the following four weeks, they travel to individual work sites each afternoon to perform their duties as paid interns. Every evening trainees work on their independent living and social skills both alone and in groups where they:

  • Prepare and consume meals,
  • Assess the campus community by using public and other transportation options,
  • Participate in various recreational and social activities,
  • Debrief the day’s activities, and
  • Prepare for the next day’s activities by completing homework assignments, doing their own laundry, etc.

Last day events

The evening before the final day, a celebration is held where students and partners come together for a meal. Students are given the opportunity to share their overall experience, what they’ve learned, and what the project has meant to them.

On the final day, individual wrap-around planning sessions are conducted, where students and their family members meet with VR counselors, Texas A&M Staff, and BVCIL representatives to receive feedback on their performance and participation, as well as complete a plan for the next steps necessary for achievement of their goals in integrated and competitive employment.

Contact Ms. Shelbi Davenport at shelbi.davenport@ag.tamu.edu or Dr. Xuan (Jade) Wu at jade.wu@ag.tamu.edu for more information.

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