Full college experience offered for people with developmental disabilities

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THE BRONX -

A Bronx program is offering people with developmental disabilities, but without a high school diploma, a chance to land their dream job.

The Melissa Riggio High Education Program at Hostos Community College links up with four New York City colleges to offer classes that range from archaeology to art. The program focuses on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The four-year program is completely free for students, but only accepts five students each academic year.

Participating colleges pay for books and donate classroom space. Mentors are all college alumni who not only help with education, but also aid in helping students land a job before getting their certification.

Javaris Haynes landed a job at Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan after completing the program as part of its first graduating class.

"Cleaning the church, I am vacuuming, clean the tables with Windex. I love it and I love my job," says Haynes. "I was saying to myself, I wish I could work in a church and I was like ... okay, I got it!"

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