March 21st was World Down Syndrome Day, a global awareness day, which has been officially observed for the last 11 years. To recognize this day, we wanted to introduce you to Rachel.
Throughout Rachel’s life, Variety has played an important role in her journey toward independence. When she was younger, Rachel attended our overnight camp and then our summer program where she began to learn vocational skills. From there, she became aware of the jobs and opportunities available to her. In fact, her success led her to a hired summer position at Variety as a kitchen staff member. After some time, Rachel began working with a Variety Job Coach through VarietyWorks, where she was provided help with resume building, job search, and practice interviews, ultimately landing her current position with Villanova University Dining Services.
Rachel’s Job Coach, Jenn, continues to support her in achieving success and a high level of independence. In addition, Rachel is a volunteer manager on the Villanova Women’s Basketball Team, which she loves! She attends every practice, home game and as many away games as possible. She handles schedules, providing water and towels, and helps with drills. She is one of 6 team managers but is lovingly called the “head manager.”
Rachel shared with us, “World Down Syndrome Day is important to me because I get to celebrate myself with my family and friends! I like to celebrate with people who I love and have supported me. I want to tell everyone to stay positive and follow your dreams because dreams do come true!”
If you are interested in learning more about our vocational training program VarietyWorks or becoming a community business partner, visit our website at www.varietyphila.org.
Read the rest of our March newsletter here.