about DC3C

Our goal is for all students with disabilities to leave high school prepared for DC’s 3Cs


There is a huge employment and education gap for people with disabilities. We believe it is never too early to start exploring the world of work. Students need various ways to explore life after high school. For some students, this means exploring a career, for others it may mean pursuing a training program or college.

DC3C is here to assist students as they figure out:“What’s next?”


DC3C is a program of the DC Special Education Cooperative.


Our dedicated staff is working to improve outcomes for students with disabilities in the nation’s capital.

Cotora Holland

Secondary Transition Specialist

David Fridie

Community Engagement Coordinator

Erika Thomas

Director of Secondary Transition

Paula Almond

Secondary Transition Specialist

Cotora Holland Bio

Secondary Transition Specialist

Cotora joined the Co-op in June of 2020. She provides support to the Director of Secondary Transition and is responsible for a wide range of workforce activities, to include, development and program delivery. Cotora is a part of the DC3C program, where she launched the inaugural Summer Internship Program 2020.

Before joining the Co-op, Cotora worked at a non-profit organization that provided vocational training to adults with disabilities. The last 12 years, she has worked with transition age youth at non-public schools and DC Public Schools. Cotora is very passionate about working with youth with disabilities to ensure they have success after high school.

Cotora holds a B.S. from Coppin State University in Management & Human Services

David Fridie Bio

Community Engagement Coordinator

Pioneering this new role at the Co-op, David is working to develop and enhance the organization’s partnerships.

Before joining the Co-op, David served as a Program Analyst in the Office of Educational Technology within the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, David worked for the United States Department of Education from 2012 until 2018. While at the Department, David worked under (three) Secretaries of Education in various functions and roles. From October 2016 until May 2018, he worked as a Program Analyst the Office of Educational Technology within the Office of the Secretary serving as the Contracting Officer’s Representative for several federal contracts. Prior to joining the Office of the Secretary, David held the position of Agency Acquisition Workforce Coordinator within the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. David was responsible for making sure over 600 employees were compliant with mandated federal acquisition regulations. David also served as a Contract Specialist on several federal contracts, including the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) State Coordinator Program.

Since 2016, David has served on the Reader Committee of the U.S. Department of State Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. In the past few years, he has also served as an application reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education/Institute of Education Sciences’ Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program as well as a reviewer for the Prince George’s County Public Schools Social Studies Department.

David has also worked within the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation, working at the DC Therapeutic Recreation Summer over the course of two years as an Inclusion Aide as well as Camp Counselor/Director at the Chevy Chase Community Center. His love of kids, especially those with disabilities, is something very essential to his core being. As a stutterer himself, he is cognizant of the importance of affirming every child, especially our Black and Brown children with disabilities!

David is a proud 4th-generation native Washingtonian, who was educated in the District of Columbia Public Schools system (Shepherd Elementary) as well as Catholic Parochial schools (St. John’s College High School). He attended Howard University (as a 3rd generation Bison), majoring in History with a minor in Political Science. Mr.Fridie comes from a long line of educators. His 3rd great-grandfather helped found an HBCU in South Carolina. As the son of a school teacher, education has played a profound role in his life. He is committed to the uplift and preservation of his beloved community!

Erika Thomas Bio

Developmental Educator

Erika Thomas is an experienced developmental educator with over 17 years of experience within the education sector and has extensive experience in alternative, public, and charter education settings across all grade levels. Erika’s previous experience includes Alternative Education Program Advisor, Home and School Consultant, Campus Coordinator, College and Career Center Specialist, Student Support Services Coordinator, and Transition Manager.

Erika is committed to making sure that all students have the opportunity to reach their full potential and follow their dreams. Her unwavering commitment to student success and academic growth fuels her passion.

Erika graduated high school from the historic Little Rock Central High School, from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts, and from Angelo State University with a Master of Arts in Mental Health and Wellness Counseling.

She is married and has a son. She enjoys shopping and entertaining family and friends.

Ms. Paula Almond Bio

Secondary Transition Specialist

Ms. Paula Almond joined the Co-op in April of 2022. She provides support to the Director of Secondary Transition and is responsible for a wide range of workforce activities, to include, development and program delivery. 

Before joining the Co-op, Paula worked at E.L. Haynes Public Charter High School for five years as a Transition Teacher, where she taught Introduction to Transition and College and Career Readiness. The last 11 years, Paula has worked with students on various levels in Elementary, Middle, High School, and also being a Special Education Coordinator.

Paula holds a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia. When attending St. Paul’s College, Paula was the President of the Best Buddies Leadership of America organization.