“When I first met David, his conversations and eye contact were brief. It took quite a few interactions for David to feel comfortable with not only myself, but other rehabilitation assistants as well,” states Assistant Program Director, Michele Gorski. At first, Michele along with other CCFIL staff members, found it challenging to get David to engage in the program or remain motivated to obtain his goals.

David was only 18 years old when he came to CCFIL. Looking back on the six years he was in their program, David gives the CCFIL staff credit for helping him get to where he is today. “They gave me a lot of opportunities to become an adult. Ron and Mike are great people.”

Early on, David was provided with an opportunity to work at a local pet supply store through CCFIL’s Supported Employment program. In the beginning, David would work about 4 hours at a time needing frequent redirection and motivation to complete his assigned tasks. However, it wasn’t long before the store managers noticed tremendous improvement in David’s confidence and work-group interactions. In the end, David was asked to join the team as a full-time employee, independent of CCFIL’s Supported Employment program. Time, trust, and mutual respect was what ultimately helped David connect and succeed at CCFIL.

Over the course of his rehabilitation, David turned his love for landscape design into competitive employment. He also learned to successfully connect with others by inviting them to partake in his love for cooking. By the end of his stay at CCFIL, David excelled at home organizational, pro-social, and employment skills, which helped pave the way to his success outside of the program. Now almost 30, David has become a full-time employee as a Landscape Designer at Deborah Silver & Company. “We were sad to see him discharged”, says Michele, “but we were confident that he would accomplish great things on his own.”