When Jamie completed school, she began looking for supports in her community that could help her become more independent. Jamie’s service coordinator referred her and her parents, Harold and Monda, to The Arc of Schuyler. The Arc was just a few miles from their home and could provide the supports Jamie needed.
Jamie became connected to the Glen Industries vocational training center. Through Glen Industries, Jamie is learning the skills required to work on a custodial crew, that provides cleaning services for area businesses while learning viable work skills that could lead to future employment. Jamie has also been able to explore her areas of interests with opportunities to attend hockey games and other local events with new friends she has made by participating in The Arc’s Home Services program.
Jamie wants to live with her family, but she does not want to lose her independence. With the supports Jamie receives through The Arc, she has been able to establish herself as a young adult, while still enjoying the support of her parents. While living at home, she is still able to participate in family activities such as volunteering at church, watching movies together, and caring for her dog, Maddy.
Jamie’s confidence in herself and willingness to try new activities led her to join The Self Advocates of Schuyler County. This is a group led by and for people with developmental disabilities to assure equal civil rights, responsibilities, and opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. She took the bold step of running for office in their recent election and was voted by her peers to serve as the Sergeant at Arms.
In this role she helps the group start and end meetings on time and attends their board meetings where they plan agendas and activities. Jamie is looking forward to participating in fundraisers and attending regional and statewide conferences with other Self-Advocates. “I want to learn how to speak out more about problems that people with developmental disabilities are facing.”
Jamie continues to become an indpendent worman. She has learned how to ride the Schuyler County Transit bus to and from work and appointments. She takes responsibility for paying her bills and is learning how to care for a home from her mother.
Although Harold and Monda would have done everything they could to assist Jamie in finding employment, Monda said, “It’s hard to find services. It’s been easier for our family to have a service coordinator who can help us figure out all the options for Jamie.”
“Someday I want to find a job and rent my own apartment for me and Maddy,” Jamie said. “Right now I’m happy to be learning at The Arc and be part of the Glen Industries and Self-Advocates teams.”
There is no question that with Jamie’s determination and ability to set goals for herself that she will achieve her dreams.