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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Figuring out post-high school plans can be overwhelming. Even-more-so, for graduating seniors living with disabilities.

Kim Riley is the founder and executive director of The Transition Academy.

“I am the mom of a son with autism and we had so many challenges just trying to connect him with resources,” Riley said.

That’s why Riley started the organization a year ago. The Transition Academy helps parents and students explore option for post-grad life.

“It was so frustrating and so difficult. I just knew that it didn’t have to be that way and that there were other families that were in the same boat,” Riley said.

She’s hosting a metro-wide graduation celebration and transition fair on July 24. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward, Royals Owner John Sherman and KCPS Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell will participate.

It’s to honor students just like Riley’s son.

“They will get an A-Z listing of college career life skills programs in the area. They will be all set up and it will ease some of that anxiety, now that they’re done with high school,” Riley said.

She wants students with disabilities to know the community is rooting for them.

“We want them to be excited. We want them to be motivated. We want to make sure that they know that their community has not forgotten about them,” Riley said.

Parents interested in the event for their children can email Riley at