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We are proud to share the story of Donald, a man with special needs who has always wanted to work.
Despite his skills, work ethic and enthusiasm, Donald wasn’t given a fair chance. In fact, 8 out of 10 people with any type of disability are underemployed. This is mostly due to misconceptions about what people with disabilities are capable of.
Donald attends our Brooklyn Day Habilitation Program in downtown Brooklyn. For many years, Donald expressed his desire to work and to become more independent. To help people like Donald, HeartShare pioneered its job training and employment programs. Starting from the ground up, HeartShare built a team of job coaches and employment specialists. To find its employment partners, HeartShare spoke to hundreds of people, cultivated relationships and developed connections throughout New York City.
Today, Donald works his dream job as a greeter at Modell’s Sporting Goods. We are lucky to have employment partners, who also want to invest in human potential. “Everybody should be treated equally. Everybody is capable of playing their part. They can work as a greeter, in maintenance or in stock. Businesses should take time to see what these unique, motivated and skilled people can do. Don’t judge a book by its cover,” said Luis Rodriguez, who is a Modell’s Store Associate and Donald’s colleague.
With your help, people with disabilities can to lead the life they want. If you or someone you know would like to hire people like Donald, please contact our Assistant Director for Transition and Employment at Joshua.Skolnick@heartshare.org.