Students take on-the-job roles in Wilkes-Barre


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Kyler Daniels Shouldis, 18, of Swoyersville, sits in the driver’s seat of Engine 1 Friday while spending time as an honorary firefighter in the Wilkes-Barre City Fire Department. The city marked Autism Awareness Day by welcoming Daniels Shouldis and two other students from Graham Academy in Luzerne to fulfill career aspirations.

Jerry Lynott | Times Leader

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Kyler Daniels Shouldis, 18, of Swoyersville, sits in the driver’s seat of Engine 1 Friday while spending time as an honorary firefighter in the Wilkes-Barre City Fire Department. The city marked Autism Awareness Day by welcoming Daniels Shouldis and two other students from Graham Academy in Luzerne to fulfill career aspirations.

Jerry Lynott | Times Leader

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Patrick Bradford of Hanover Township mkes himself comfortable at the desk of Wilkes-Barre Mayor George Brown as the city marks Autism Awareness Day while Jim Prisk, building administrator of the Kingston elementary school of the Graham Academy, stands by. Brown named Bradford, 20, a student at Graham Academy’ s secondary school in Luzerne, honorary mayor Friday and included him in a staff meeting at City Hall.

Jerry Lynott | Times Leader

” srcset=”https://s24526.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/126858841_web1_Patrick-WB-Mayor.jpg.optimal.jpg” sizes=”(-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2) 1280px, (min-resolution: 192dpi) 1280px, 640px” class=”entry-thumb td-animation-stack-type0-3″ style=”float:left; width:200px; margin:3px;”/

Patrick Bradford of Hanover Township mkes himself comfortable at the desk of Wilkes-Barre Mayor George Brown as the city marks Autism Awareness Day while Jim Prisk, building administrator of the Kingston elementary school of the Graham Academy, stands by. Brown named Bradford, 20, a student at Graham Academy’ s secondary school in Luzerne, honorary mayor Friday and included him in a staff meeting at City Hall.

Jerry Lynott | Times Leader

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Keyshawn Credle, 21, of Wilkes-Barre, wears the white helmet and bunker coat of Wilkes-Barre City Fire Department Chief Jay Delaney while serving as an honorary firefighter Friday. The city invited Credle and students from Graham Academy in Luzerne to participate in Autism Awareness Day and fulfill career aspirations.

Jerry Lynott | Times Leader

” srcset=”https://s24526.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/126858841_web1_Keyshawn-fire-chief.jpg.optimal.jpg” sizes=”(-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2) 1280px, (min-resolution: 192dpi) 1280px, 640px” class=”entry-thumb td-animation-stack-type0-3″ style=”float:left; width:200px; margin:3px;”/

Keyshawn Credle, 21, of Wilkes-Barre, wears the white helmet and bunker coat of Wilkes-Barre City Fire Department Chief Jay Delaney while serving as an honorary firefighter Friday. The city invited Credle and students from Graham Academy in Luzerne to participate in Autism Awareness Day and fulfill career aspirations.

Jerry Lynott | Times Leader

<img src="https://s24526.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/126858841_web1_WB-Council-group.jpg.optimal.jpg" alt="

Marking Autism Awareness Day, Wilkes-Barre Mayor George Brown, center, welcoms students from Graham Academy in Luzerne to City Hall Friday, where he presented them proclamations and named them to honorary positions matching their career aspirations from mayor to firefighters. Pictured from left to right: Patrick Bradford of Hanover Township, Kyler Daniels Shouldis of Swoyersville, Brown and Keyshawn Credle of Wilkes-Barre.

Jerry Lynott | Times Leader

” srcset=”https://s24526.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/126858841_web1_WB-Council-group.jpg.optimal.jpg” sizes=”(-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2) 1280px, (min-resolution: 192dpi) 1280px, 640px” class=”entry-thumb td-animation-stack-type0-3″ style=”float:left; width:200px; margin:3px;”/

Marking Autism Awareness Day, Wilkes-Barre Mayor George Brown, center, welcoms students from Graham Academy in Luzerne to City Hall Friday, where he presented them proclamations and named them to honorary positions matching their career aspirations from mayor to firefighters. Pictured from left to right: Patrick Bradford of Hanover Township, Kyler Daniels Shouldis of Swoyersville, Brown and Keyshawn Credle of Wilkes-Barre.

Jerry Lynott | Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — Seated at the wheel of Engine 1, Kyler Daniels Shouldis looked ready to roll.

The engine remained parked in the Wilkes-Barre City Fire Department headquarters on East Ross Street, but the 18-year-old Shouldis Daniels was riding high.

Daniels Shouldis and fellow Graham Academy student Keyshawn Credle were named honorary firefighters Friday as part of Autism Awareness Day in the city. Another student, Patrick Bradford opted to remain at City Hall where he was honorary mayor.

“He loves this kind of stuff,” said Kyler’s mother, Jody Daniels.

“He wants to be an (authority) figure when he gets older he says. He wants to be somebody that everybody looks up to,” Daniels said.

To get a glimpse of her son in the driver’s seat more than six feet off the ground Daniels did just that.

Firefighter Chris Roman led Daniels Shouldis, 18, of Swoyersville and Credle, 21, of Wilkes-Barre, through a daily inspection of the engine, inside and out. They donned Chief Jay Delaney’s white helmet and bunker coat, watched a demonstration of the new aerial ladder, handled a charged hose and operated spreader and cutter tools during their hour-long tour of duty.

“This is a great experience. It really is,” said Keyshawn’s mother, Amy Dombrowski. “I hope they continue it.”

Mayor George Brown and his staff were all in to heighten the public’s awareness of people with autism and provide the students with a day to remember.

Brown welcomed the three students and presented them with proclamations and sashes imprinted with their job titles for the day. “We’re going to make this a special day for these people. And the best way we can do that is fulfilling what their career is,” Brown said.

The city partnered with the academy and King’s College and Wilkes University for the first Light It Up Blue campaign. City Hall and the three fire stations were going to turn on blue lights Friday night and Public Square was decorated with blue ribbons.

Yard signs printed with a design from academy students are being sold for $20 at local businesses along with blue ribbons. The proceeds will go toward the special needs playground the city is planning for Kirby Park.

“We have to remember that the people that are here today and the other people at schools like Graham Academy, they’re part of our citizens, they’re part of our population and they have to have the same needs fulfilled that other people do in the city. And we’re here for that,” Brown said.

Brown made room in his office for Bradford, who’s known as the mayor of the academy, and included him in a staff meeting, affording him the opportunity to make some decisions.

Jim Prisk, building administrator for the academy’s elementary school in Kingston, said Bradford, 20, of Hanover Township, was a natural at City Hall.

“He did great,” Prisk said.

As for decisions made by Bradford, Prisk said, “He wanted four new police cars, and he was actually pretty close because the mayor told me how many more they were getting. So he was actually pretty close there.”

Bradford added input on playground equipment, vaccines and bottles of hand sanitizer to be distributed by the city Health Department.

All three students will be graduating this year from the academy’s secondary school in Luzerne, said Bob Steinberger, building administrator. The focus has been on preparing them to transition through teaching life skills, career oriented…



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