Powerful Change – Amanda’s Story

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From Growing a Garden to Gaining Job Skills – One Young Women’s Path to Employment



Amanda playing tennis

When Amanda was in high school, her path to future employment was uncertain. More than 66% of adults with developmental disabilities are unemployed despite many wanting to work. That’s where The Farmer’s House comes in to play. Amanda was one of the first participants in the organization’s first program – The Seeds of Change Garden. The idea of the program was to bring individuals with developmental disabilities together to plan, plant, cultivate and harvest a garden. From those humble beginnings, a major Early Work Experience Program (EWE) emerged. Throughout high school Amanda attended the EWE once a week throughout the remainder of her high school years.


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Amanda graduated with a foundation for employment, but needed help furthering her social skills, gaining confidence and building independence. And our Roots Community Integration Program was just the place for her. Roots is a daily program focused on helping individuals achieve their personal goals to build a quality life. Through Roots Amanda gained opportunities to explore her interests, develop friendships and develop strategies to increase independence. Through participation in Roots, Amanda began exploring vocational interests and soon moved into our next program, Employment Services where she received help and support seeking and securing competitive employment.


Today, Amanda is enjoying working at a senior living community near her home. When asked about what she loves most about working she said with a smile, “I love the friends that I have made!” Her smile widened even more when asked what it was like to receive her first paycheck! “It made me so happy!”