When most young adults graduate from high school, they typically know which direction they are going to head,
whether it be attending college or jumping right into a job. When Mikayla graduated from high school, she and her mom, Michele, knew exactly where to turn and it was the place where she began many years before -- Easterseals!
“Mikayla had a good foundation as a child, thanks to the Easterseals Children’s Therapy program. So when she graduated, for me, there was no other choice, it was Easterseals,” Michele says. “If you have a differently-abled person in your life, you need Easterseals because you’ll never find the caliber of expertise and caring with any other program. Mikayla is proof of that. She now utilizes the Easterseals Supported Employment program as an adult, which has helped her blossom even more while also gaining some financial independence.”
Based on her skill set and knowing Mikayla, who has Down syndrome, would thrive working within a business in the community, her Employment Specialist, Camille, connected her with a position at Grotto Pizza where she can interact with coworkers and customers. Easterseals Supported Employment
matches participants with jobs in local businesses so they can earn competitive wages with the assistance of job coaching and training.
“I love Easterseals and Miss Camille, my Employment Specialist! She helped me get my job so I can work every day and I get to do a good job to get my paycheck,” Mikayla says. “Miss Camille always makes sure I’m okay and she makes sure DART picks me up on time. I get to make new friends and see my friends at work. I love it.”
When she isn’t working, Mikayla loves going out to eat and is a huge movie buff. She is also incredibly generous with the money she earns. She often treats her mom and friends to dinner or ice cream. Mikayla stays well-connected to her peers and Blue Gold buddies via social media and texting.
“Mikayla is happy and thriving. Easterseals got her where she needs to be. Each person is different and Easterseals pairs them up with someone who will hone-in on all of the aspects of your child,” Michele says. “Easterseals makes sure Mikayla learns and grows from her job. When Mikayla’s outside of the home at work, I feel 100% confident her best interests are being met and that means a lot. It is so much more than a job to the people at
Easterseals. Camille is there when I am not and I need her to be. It is me and Easterseals. We are her advocates. They are ‘Mom 2.0.’”
Mikayla’s family was selected to serve as the Volleyball Ambassador for the 2021 Easterseals/CAI
Volleyball Challenge, which will take place on September 17-18, 2021
at the Chase Fieldhouse
in Wilmington, DE. “It is about quality of life. Mikayla is happy and self-confident. She enjoys getting paid and being able to pay for things herself. None of it would have been possible without Easterseals,” Michele says. “There is no excuse for our kids not to shine and thrive with everything Easterseals offers at our fingertips. All you have to do is pick up the phone!”
The Volleyball Challenge is a family-friendly, two-day event, which brings the community together to raise critically needed dollars for Easterseals to serve children and adults with disabilities. For more information about the event, go to www.volleyballchallenge.com
or contact Missy Baker, 302-221-2078 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently, Easterseals works with more than 60 businesses statewide supporting more than 80 individuals with disabilities in competitive employment. To learn more about how Easterseals can help you find the perfect employee for your business, call Jane Schuler at 302-324-4444.
Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore
offers a range of services, including children’s therapies, assistive technology, recreational camping, day programs for adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, and respite services for caregivers. To learn more about how Easterseals helps children and adults with disabilities, call 1-800-677-3800 or visit www.de.easterseals.com