50 Faces of The Arc- Drew

Drew is a hard-working employee at The Arc of Loudoun on Paxton Campus. He’s been a member of the STEP Up (Supported Training & Employment) Program for two years, which is a day support program that teaches vocational skills to adults with disabilities. He first discovered Paxton Campus after he and his mom attended the ALLY Advocacy Center’s Transition Series, a workshop that helps families with young adults with disabilities transition out of the public school system at age 22.

Drew, who has high-functioning autism, says he’s incredibly grateful for STEP Up, and is always excited to go to work every morning! He takes pride in his daily tasks, which range from changing light bulbs to mulching and mowing the 17-acre grounds of Paxton. Once his morning shift is over, Drew participates in STEP Up’s afternoon enrichment activities.

“I enjoy visits from Nic the therapy dog and taking field trips to places like the National Air and Space Museum,” he says. “But going to Top Golf is my personal favorite!”

Not only is Drew an employee at Paxton, he’s also an advocate for people with special needs. Since participating in The Arc’s self-advocacy and public speaking group Speak Up, Drew has learned how to advocate for himself. Last year, Drew and other members of Speak Up traveled to Richmond; where he had the opportunity to speak directly to state lawmakers about transportation and group homes for people with disabilities.

Drew says he’s also learned how to be safe in the community through programs like ALLY’s ‘PILE’ (Positive Interaction with Law Enforcement) initiative on campus. This program teaches law enforcement personnel how to interact and with people with disabilities. Drew explains that programs like these are one of the reasons why The Arc of Loudoun is important to him saying,

”Being here helps to keep me safe. I have special needs, I have high-functioning autism. There are a lot of people with special needs around here, and Paxton benefits the whole community!”

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!

Do More 24 – June 4th – Day of Giving

thank you

Thank you to all those who donated to Paxton Campus and participated in our Selfies for Good contest. We had so much fun!  THANK YOU!

 

 

#WEAREPAXTON 

On  Thursday, June 4th we can all Do More to help our community.

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Paxton Campus has partnered with United Way of the National Capital Area and 600 other local nonprofits in the greater DC area in this annual day of giving.

We need your help to make this year’s campaign successful. Here’s what you can do:

1)         Mark your calendar for Thursday, June 4th.

2)         Bookmark this giving link. https://www.domore24.org/#npo/paxton-campus

3)         Spread the word! Post our giving link and your support on your social media       channels.

4)         Donate on June 4th. You can help us to win additional cash prizes!

#WEAREPAXTON because…

Your donation on June 4th will help us continue to support and grow these programs and the communities they serve.

We are grateful for your support. Thank you for helping us Do More for our community.