Communication skills, vocational skills, life skills, and Wegmans. What do they have in common?
Aspire of WNY’s World of Work (WOW) program.
As we celebrate 75 years of assisting individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, we’re proud to share a video, created by the team at Wegmans, that showcases the WOW program.
Highlighted in the program is an individual supported by Aspire of WNY, Keionte. “It’s really kind of fun being in the Aspire program. I learned my communication skills, how to stay positive, and being a hard worker,” said Keionte. “I’m very proud of myself. I’m so glad I get to work here.” Keionte is a graduate of the WOW program and celebrated his three-year work anniversary at Wegmans. His coach, Rachel, couldn’t be more proud.
“I think it’s huge to give kids the opportunity to break outside of the school and see what it’s like to be in a work environment and learn different skills that they wouldn’t learn at school,” said Rachel. She has overseen the program at the Wegmans on Alberta Drive for many years.
Toni Sullivan, Director of Vocational and Adaptive Community Living Supports at Aspire of WNY, is happy to see the video come out close to October because October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. “We want to share the stories of individuals with disabilities becoming effective employees. Our partnership with Wegmans has enabled many individuals to join the workforce and add value to the teams with whom they work,” said Toni.
“It’s really kind of fun being in the Aspire program. I learned my communication skills, how to stay positive, and being a hard worker,” said Keionte.
Aspire of WNY’s President and CEO, Renee Filip, is excited for the word to get out about the WOW program and is happy to see how the program has taken shape over the years. “At Aspire of WNY, we are constantly finding innovative ways to support individuals with developmental disabilities. Helping them become successful employees, especially at a top employer like Wegmans, just makes us ecstatic. Our team has been dedicated to this mission for the last 75 years, and we’re already looking to the next 75. We’re grateful to everyone who has made this a possibility,” said Renee.
To learn more about the WOW program and the Wegmans + Aspire of WNY partnership, click here to read their official press release. If you’re looking for information on how you or a loved one can become involved with WOW, click here to read through Aspire of WNY’s overview of services and opportunities.
Support WOW and Aspire of WNY’s mission by making your IMPACT today. All donations help create a better world for individuals with developmental disabilities: DONATE TODAY!