Colonie Community Connection students gain muscles and skills at Warriors on Wheels

training instructing student
Owner of Warriors on Wheels Ned Norton provides personalized workout to CCHS Colonie Community Connection student .

Colonie Community Connection (CCC), a program for South Colonie students that launched in the 2021-22 school year, is a job skills program that aims to connect Colonie students with community and business partners to give students a unique experience both in the classroom and in the business world. Part of the learning experience is providing different settings where students can practice their soft skills and gain confidence while interacting with peers.

Recently, the CCC students spent the morning at Warrior on Wheels, a not-for-profit local gym dedicated to serving individuals with a variety of disabilities to build strength and confidence.

Our students spent the morning working out in a supervised setting with the owner of the gym,said CCC teacher Deirdre Locke. “By creating these unique opportunities outside of the classroom, we can enable them to gain independence, while learning new skills and finding activities that they enjoy.”

The students participated in a modified workout created by the Warrior on Wheels owner Ned Norton.

Since 1988, Norton has been strength training physically and mentally challenged people. Norton’s powerlifting career began as a teen and credits weightlifting as his escape to deal with life’s typical challenges. Norton found his passion for training clients with disabilities and has trained hundreds of people in Upstate New York. 

“Ned has allowed our group and other students in the district to come in, use the equipment, and receive individualized modified workouts. He provides services for mimal or free to all and is able to do this through the support of donations”  Locke added.  “ Our students are looking to raise money to support his gym so that others can continue to benefit from the services that he provides.”

In addition to outings to gain confidence and muscles, each student in the CCC work program participates in academic classroom activities and then applies the knowledge and skills learned to real world situations offered through internships at community partners’ respective businesses.

“This CCC program has been transformational for our students and families,” said Supervisor of Special Programs William Boardman. “Not only do I credit the amazing staff members working with the students each day but our incredible community partners that invite students in, meet them where they are at, and allow them to grow their individual skills.”

More information about Warrior on Wheels can be found here: