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This article was published 22/3/2019 (913 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
One of the most significant lifetime changes we all face is the transition into adulthood.
As we leave school and enter the workforce for the first time, we have to be prepared. Have we made the correct career choice? Are our grades good enough? Do we have sufficient technical training?
All good points to be considered, but for some people with social or developmental issues there’s more to it than that.
Elementary and high schools may recognize their special needs however not many workplaces do.
That’s where an organization knows as Gaining Resources Our Way, or G.R.O.W., comes in.
It started in Gimli in 2002 when Karyn Lazareck wanted the same opportunities for her youngest son, who has autism, that her two older sons had enjoyed. With a little help from the Jewish community and the University of Manitoba’s department of occupational therapy a program was born, staffed by local volunteers.
Today that program has grown and expanded to include Winnipeg.
And because of Karyn’s commitment to the community she was later awarded the Sol Kanee distinguished community service medal.
Lucy Pontes-Bothelo, their vocational co-ordinator, brings a wealth of experience from various social organizations.
She tells me they offer a life skills program for young adults to help them find employment, both paid and voluntary, and become active members of the community leading independent lives.
There are 16 participants currently in the program who have been placed in locations such as the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and Zoo, Pawsh Dog, Gray Academy, Tuxedo Villa, the Rady Centre, Westgrove School, Prairie Mobile Communications and Winnipeg Harvest. Their jobs include roles in warehouse maintenance, inventory management, office support, teaching assistant and janitorial functions.
It is aimed primarily at young adults over the age of 21 who have completed high school and focuses on life skills, social skills and vocational skills. It encourages participants to set goals and make choices on social and recreational activities for daily living.
They also offer social outings such as trips on the Prairie Dog Central or visits to the Cirque du Soleil or other entertainment events when they come to town.
In addition they have started a social enterprise GROWL which bakes and markets specialized dog treats including gluten-free peanut butter ones.
G.R.O.W. is an independent registered charitable organization and they’re looking for help. Specifically from businesses and organizations that can help provide positions for their participants.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go online at www.gainingresourcesourway.ca
Trevor Smith is a community correspondent for River Heights. You can contact him via email at email@example.com
River Heights community correspondent
Trevor Smith is a community correspondent for River Heights.