Moving out can be an exciting time in one’s life. Everything is a discovery or a challenge. A simple trip to the grocery store can be a learning experience. At a time when millennials are moving back in, two of PRIDE’s own are moving out.
Ilani Evans, 20, is a Hand Packager in the PRIDE Industries electronics division. Two weeks ago, she moved out of her parent’s home into her own apartment, which she shares with co-worker and friend, Jillian Beck. Both are individuals with disabilities.
At work, Ilani assembles the inner workings of a medical device that uses cold and compression therapies to accelerate healing after an injury or surgery.
Having a job not only means getting a paycheck. At work, she has made friends and increased her skills. In the future, Ilani wants to attend college. She also hopes to find a job in the community where she can apply the skills learned at PRIDE. “I want to find a job that will increase my skills like PRIDE did,” says Ilani. “I just want to be proud of what I have done with my life.”
Ilani met her new roommate, Jillian, at work. Jillian, 25, is a Hand Packager in the electronics division at PRIDE. For the last five years, she lived in a care home. Jillian yearned for total independence. Jillian does not have a visible disability, but she is aware of her own challenges. “I just work and go at my own pace,” says Jillian. “I am proud of myself and my accomplishment.”
Both had the same desire to live independently. They did the research, looked at apartments, and found the perfect one for them. They share a two-bedroom apartment and both receive Independent Living Services. Several times a week their service provider takes them to run errands such as medical appointments or grocery shopping.
PRIDE’s mission is to create jobs for people with disabilities. Those jobs lead to independence and greater self-sufficiency. These two young women have made remarkable strides, and we are very proud of them. Great job Ilani and Jillian!