50 Faces of The Arc- Lauren

Meet Lauren. She works at Maggie’s Closet (named after the founder of Paxton Campus’ daughter, Margaret) a non-profit store located on Paxton Campus that provides free clothing and accessories for families in need. After one year of volunteering, Lauren was given the opportunity to work part-time at Maggie’s Closet through STEP Up; a program of The Arc of Loudoun on Paxton Campus that teaches vocational skills to adults with disabilities. Maggie’s Closet accepts shoppers by appointment only and features all sizes of quality, seasonal clothing. Lauren recently began taking on more responsibility; answering phone calls, and scheduling shopping visits. She greets each shopper with a smile when they arrive for their appointments.

Lauren says working at ‘Maggie’s’ has been an amazing experience,

“I have a lot more confidence talking to people now and have become more independent. I’ve learned skills that I’ve never learned before!”

Skills such as answering the phone and interacting with customers were challenging for Lauren at first, but now she’s able to do both tasks easily. In fact, she’d love to do more public speaking. Lauren says,“I’d like to be on TV or the news. Advocating and being able to talk at The White House about Paxton would be my dream!” Lauren especially enjoys meeting all the families who shop at Maggie’s,“I love seeing them smiling. It makes me happy knowing that I’m bringing happiness to all of the people who are shopping.”

Learn more about Maggie’s Closet here: www.paxtoncampus.org/maggies-closet

 

 

A Day in the Life: STEP Up Team

The Step Up team participates in Community-Based Instruction (CBIs) to learn practical job skills and show off their talents and interests in the community. During a CBI, the team goes out into the community and does a job at a local business.

We followed a cleaning team as they set out to clean at LoCo CrossFit!

1:06Everybody piles on the bus with Swiffers, cleaning spray and paper towels in hand, ready to get started!


1:10 We’re off. The conversation swirls with talk of lunch, The Jonas Brothers and playground swings. The team talks about how much longer it’ll take to get there.

1:15
We arrive at our destination. Each Step Up members gets a different checklist of their cleaning assignments.

1:15-1:40– The team is split into pairs and we divide and conquer. Each time someone completes something, they check it off their list. We vacuum. We dust. We scrub.

Compliments and excitement can be heard as each task is complete!

“I did good!”
“Great job dusting!”
“Keep up the good work”
“I did it!”

After everything was shining and dust-free, the team even had time for a little fun!

 

Drew tested out some of the equipment and we got to meet the owner’s dog!

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1:49– It’s time to head back to Paxton. Everybody piles back in the bus and we are on our way back to campus.

Thank you to LoCo CrossFit for being wonderful customers to work for!

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Right now we have four ‘microenterprises’ launched that we provide to the community: a cleaning business, a landscaping business, office work business and an art market to sell hand-made products created by the team.

STEP Up is in the process of creating a car-washing business and grocery store delivery service.

We are always looking for community partners who may be interested in partnering with our microenterprise businesses or who are interested in hiring adults with a disability. Email Katie Wilcox kwilcox@paxtoncampus.org for more information!