When Allie started to Sycamore 15 years ago, she was living at home with her parents. She wanted a job and, eventually, her own apartment. She wanted all the things every other 18-year old wants for themselves. But, Allie has Down Syndrome, is very timid and her family was concerned about sending her out into the world with the unique vulnerabilities presented by Down Syndrome.
While Allie has always known she was capable of earning a paycheck and contributing to her community, the lack of employment opportunities and her unassuming nature made it difficult for her to find a job on her own.
Then Allie came to Sycamore Services. She was enrolled in a residential support program that would assist her in developing the skills needed to run her own household and learn some valuable social skills to strengthen her independence and improve her judgment skills.
Allie was assigned to a specific Employment Consultant who worked with her to get to know her interests and skills and develop a job search plan. Allie worked with the Consultant and was placed in a position that provided her a safe, trustworthy work environment.
Allie’s mother watched her daughter thrive as a result of the supports Sycamore provided. She especially appreciated the increase in Allie’s self confidence and the opportunities Allie was given to use her talents and abilities to contribute to her community.
Allie is still employed in an Evansville school cafeteria and is well respected by both the students and her peers. Allie’s positive work ethic and cheerful personality are a treasure for our community. Allie’s Sycamore Consultant helped develop natural supports on her work site to build her on-the-job communications and allow her to stay on-task. Allie’s co-workers report she is an asset to the school in which she works, and provides an excellent role model for all students.
Allie is a success story because in the 15 years she has been served by Sycamore, she has gone from a young girl still at home, hesitant to participate in other than family gatherings to having a job and participating in a variety of community based activities. Allie is involved in weekly social activities with peers where she has learned valuable self-advocacy skills, improved communications and become even more independent. Though she still follows sometimes, Allie is now a leader of her group as she helps coordinate meetings, makes calls and keeps the calendar.
Through the supports provided by Sycamore, Allie has fulfilled a few small dreams and is working on bigger ones.
Allie is involved in volunteerism at the annual fall festival in Evansville which is a fundraising event that lasts all week and requires many volunteers. She volunteers at her church also. She has on several occasions made art and crafts for people residing in Nursing homes and Hospice. Allie is selfless and will go the extra mile to be helpful and supportive to others. Through on-going training and support she has grown socially and gained skills she needed to be able to work in the community and eventually be able to spend time alone in her home. Eventually, she would like to live in her own apt and with the continued training and supports from Sycamore Services we are confident she will realize that dream.