Keynin Battle already has been attending college classes through Spokane Falls Community College and hopes to become a landscape photographer.
Battle is a graduate of Images, which is part of the Transition Programs offered by Spokane Public Schools designed to provide vocational and personal skills training for student age 19-21 with intellectual disabilities. The community-based program is housed on the SFCC campus and allows students to take college classes.
“They slowly introduce them to college,” said Images teacher Lorraine Shank. “He’s probably one of the more independent, successful students at Images.”
Battle also puts together the monthly Transitions Programs newsletter that is sent home to parents.
Battle has been taking photography classes at SFCC and has his own photography blog called KCBphotography on Facebook. Recent entries include photos of Medical Lake, Franklin Park and Comstock Park. Battle said he likes to visit local trails and parks for his photos and prefers to feature landscapes instead of people.
“It helps capture memories that we share,” he said.
Battle is autistic and his participation in the Images program has helped him develop and learn to live on his own, Battle said. “My Images class has been helping me get more involved in the community,” he said.
Shank said she’s been impressed with his progress in nature photography. “I’ve seen, over the last two years, a lot of improvement,” she said. “That’s his dream job, to be a landscape photographer.”
The goal of most Images students is to get a paid job and Battle has already achieved that.
Battle used to work at an Albertson’s that has since closed and has worked full time at the Safeway on Northwest Boulevard as a courtesy clerk for the last year. He bags groceries, brings in carts and helps keep the store clean.
“I like to clean a little,” he said. “I enjoy working there a lot. I meet lots of friendly people.”
Battle plans to continue attending classes at SFCC and hopes to earn a digital arts degree. He said he’s very grateful for the help from Images and wouldn’t be where he is today without the program and support from his family.
“I really have to thank all my teachers and classmates who helped me reach my goals,” he said.