For some individuals with disabilities, independence can feel uncertain and often comes with challenges. But in Monique’s experience, it has been nothing less than fantastic.
Monique has been receiving services and supports from Developmental Pathways for almost 20 years. She has accomplished so much in this time, such as navigating public transportation, getting a job, serving on a board of directors, living independently, and more.
With her Case Manager and service providers, Monique learned about available transportation resources. She feels comfortable taking a bus, metro, or Access-A-Ride to get to any destination.
With the help of a job coach, Monique found a job at a local sandwich shop where she worked for seven years. She was responsible for cleaning and bagging items.
Monique loved everything about her job, especially the structure, processes, and friendship with her manager. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the restaurant closed. Monique is a glass-half-full person, and because of her optimism, she sees this transition as an opportunity.
“It’s a bummer to me I couldn’t go anywhere because of covid, but it seems like vacation time to me! I’m going to start looking for an office job next year,” said Monique.
Monique is excited to find work in an office where she can follow directions and provide organizational support. She is process-oriented and thrives when her duties are clearly defined.
Additionally, she’s looking forward to channeling her experience as a board member into a new job. Monique has served on the Board of Directors at Developmental Pathways for the past seven years. She loves the importance and impact of her involvement.
About being on the board, Monique said: “They talk about important things, and I’m proud to be a part of that. I like hearing people talk and helping with my questions.”
In 2008, Monique moved into her own apartment. In her free time, she loves to cook and watch DVDs. Her favorite meal to make is spaghetti with red sauce. She loves the movie, Selena because she relates to Selena’s mindset of strength and resiliency.
“If someone told her [Selena] no, she would show them she could. I kind of have the same mindset. If something is not right, I say it. I know the rights I have. You can help people, but you can’t tell them what to do,” said Monique.
Monique’s mother, Sue, said that watching her daughter thrive independently has been such a joy. They are both grateful for the opportunities Developmental Pathways has provided Monique to lead a self-sufficient life.
“She loves living on her own,” said Sue. “[Her home] is a calm place [to be herself]. She can bloom into who she is. She’s so independent and responsible, and I’m so proud of that.”
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