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Darron was one of the first HeartShare-trained employees of Cleaning with Meaning, a green home and office cleaning business serving the five boroughs of New York City and lower Westchester County that was founded by HeartShare and its partners at the New York Integrated Network (NYIN). During his training to become a cleaning technician, Darron energetically learned the application and use of different cleaning materials. All employees also receive a uniform and employee identification card. “This is the best job I’ve ever had,” said Darron, who has prior work experience at a restaurant.
Darron was able to reach this professional milestone through HeartShare’s Kaleidoscope Program, an adult day program that prepares individuals for the world of work. The Blended Day Services Program, which combines group habilitation, pre-vocational services and supported employment, pairs a program participant with a job coach who provides training and support until the individual is ready to take on less supervised work. “As more and more of our individuals are equipped with skills to work, we not only enhance their quality of life, but also we are shifting paradigms,” explained Kaleidoscope Program Director Joy Palmer, “Everyone has a right to work in a competitive, inclusive environment.”