KSI Celebrates Ashley’s success story

Ashley Webb received valuable vocational training through her school in janitorial, restaurant, and grocery stocking and bagging jobs. But she still needed guidance in understanding appropriate behavior and just staying calm in different situations. In June of 2017, Ashley was dually enrolled in KSI’s Life Enrichment and Pre-Vocational programs to help her gain those abilities and prepare her for accomplishing her life goals.

Ashley loves going on various trips as well as stepping up for learning opportunities. And she often helps staff with certain assignments at the Skill Development Center. “She advocates well for herself,” said Ashley’s Case Manager Kathleen Shirey. “She likes to try everything and get out into the community for every opportunity she can.”

Ashley’s goals are to be more focused and develop pride in her work. And those two things are really interconnected. Something that Ashley enjoys focusing upon are craft and art projects. So one of the things for which Ashley self-advocates is participation in art classes at the Mispillion Art League in Milford, as well as other craft-oriented activities in the community.

“She loves to work on crafts. She tried knitting class and showed a real natural ability,” Mrs. Shirey explained. “The needle work is now part of her developing pride in her work. If she can take pride in something she does for fun, then that training translates over to other things.”

Her ability to focus on crafts and feel proud about doing a good job led to her ability to participate as a janitorial crew member at CHEER centers in the community. On those jobs, taking pride in one’s work is important. And Ashley is building more pride in doing a good job every time she goes out as part of that work crew, so much so that working is becoming an important priority to her.

That fact was illustrated marvelously this past October. Ashley used her talent in painting to help decorate signs and masks for KSI’s internal Buddy Walk in October. The KSI Buddy Walk is a fun activity day to help support the regional Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk Buddy Walk, which raises funds for programs benefiting people with Down Syndrome. However, the day the KSI Buddy Walk was taking place, Ashley was scheduled to work as part of the KSI CHEER cleaning crew. She could have chosen to opt out of the paid work, but decided instead to uphold her responsibility as part of the crew. That was a significant choice to honor her obligations at the sacrifice of something else she enjoyed.

Ashley has her sights on working in a restaurant near her home cleaning tables and washing dishes. She knows that her job on the CHEER janitorial crew is a part of preparing for working independently in the community. “This gives me training for when I’m ready to get a job and work,” Ashley related. “It makes me happy to work and make money. And I like to spend my money and make my own choices of what to buy.”

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