The Explore program is designed for students with disabilities aged 18-22 years old pursuing an Applied Studies Diploma. PWCS partners with community businesses to provide opportunities for our student explorers to discover their interests, preferences, and potential for successful postsecondary employment and independent living outcomes.

Explorers spend most of their day engaged in work-based learning activities that provide opportunities for hands-on exploration of their career interests and preferences. In addition to acquiring marketable job skills in a variety of occupational areas, students learn to manage and meet the demands of competitive work, as well as develop the soft skills required of the 21st-century workplace, such as responsibility, self-confidence, team spiritedness, a good work attitude, and self-motivation and management.

Throughout the program year, the interns work on employability and functional skills. The interns acquire competitive, marketable, and transferable skills to enable them to apply for a related position through participation in a series of three targeted internships. These are unpaid work experiences - analogous to the retail rotations that are part of every food market or business internship program. Interns spend approximately five hours each day at the internships, which includes a 30-minute lunch. Working from a task list, they acquire the core skills necessary to be hired in an entry-level position at the host business site or in the community. Interns are supported in making decisions about the careers they wish to explore, and in developing those skills essential for achieving meaningful success for them.

The provision of these services embraces best practices, the acknowledgment that everyone is a valued member of the community and that inclusive participation in civic life is integral to the promotion of the PWCS vision.

For more information about Prince William County Public Schools Explore Program, please contact Ann Johnson, Special Education Administrative Coordinator, at [email protected].


Administrative Contacts

David Williams, Ed.S., Supervisor
[email protected]

Wendy Morris, Administrative Assistant II
[email protected]

Ann Johnson, Administrative Coordinator
[email protected]

Explore Spotlight

The Explore program, a collaborative initiative between Prince William County Public Schools and Todos Supermarket, is designed for students aged 18 to 22 with individual education plans aimed at achieving competitive employment. The program facilitates a smooth transition from school to adulthood by integrating daily work experiences at Todos Market, aligning with the school calendar. Through building relationships and real-world experiences, the program significantly eases students' entry into the workforce. This program makes a large impact of such socially conscious programs, emphasizing community support and the crucial role they play in preparing young adults to become active, successful members of society. As a company committed to social responsibility, the involvement in the Explore program exemplifies the positive contributions businesses can make to the future of our children and the community.

Explore Business Partners

TODOS Neighborhood Market Logo

Eastern Business Host Site: Todos Neighborhood Market

Todos Supermarket was created in July 1990, aiming to fulfill the needs of the growing community, which eventually expanded to other communities in the Woodbridge area. Todos is the business partner for the PWCS Explore Program on the eastern end of the county.

Visit the TODOS Neighborhood Market website.

Address: 16593 River Ridge Blvd, Woodbridge, VA 22191

Capital Ridge Logo

Western Business Host Site: Capitol Ridge Gracious Retirement Living

Capitol Ridge Gracious Retirement Living is so much more than just a place to live. It’s a place to enjoy delicious chef-prepared meals, lively game nights, or quiet evenings with family and friends. It’s where our residents always feel comfortable, safe and secure, knowing that our management teams live on-site and are available throughout the day.

Visit the Capitol Ridge Gracious Retirement Living website.

Address: 12751 Sudley Manor Dr, Bristow, VA 20136