Having a child graduate from high-school is a nerve-racking experience for any parent. Now add in that your child has intellectual and developmental disabilities. How do you help them reach the dreams they have? How do you ensure they live a happy and healthy life? This was the situation that Joyce Van Curan was in, back in 1999, with her daughter, Becky. 

Becky began her time at CDS Monarch after graduating from high-school. From day one, Becky began working in the food and hospitality industries through CDS Monarch’s Community Prevocational Services. She became a familiar face at CDS Monarch when she started working at Flutters, CDS Monarch’s on-site restaurant. During her vocational training at Flutters, Becky’s Job Coach and Vocational Counselor both knew she had a desire to go out and work in the community. There was just one thing holding her back. “When Becky was working at Flutters, she would get overwhelmed very easily any time one of her co-workers tried to help her,” Tera Weekly, one of Becky’s Job Coaches at CDS Monarch, said. “Becky had a tendency to work completely on her own and would get frustrated whenever someone tried to lend a helping hand. We knew it boiled down to a trust issue, so we started there, and worked on her teamwork skills simultaneously.” These were areas of focus for Becky as she grew and learned what skills were needed to work out in the community.

Over time, Becky began to trust her co-workers, and she became comfortable enough working with a team to join the community workforce.  With the skills she learned in her vocational training, Becky landed a new job at Burger King on Ridgeway Avenue in Greece, NY. Becky’s manager, Steve Krautwurst, specifically noted Becky’s teamwork skills. “Becky is a wonderful part of our team here. She is always coming to me or other team members for help with any questions she has,” Steve said. “Becky and I have built a great relationship over the past few months. She does very well with the customers and is very confident in the work she does.”

Becky continues to have a Job Coach, a Vocational Counselor and a Medicaid Service Coordinator through CDS Monarch, who all make sure Becky receives the support and assistance she needs to continue her growth toward independence and success in the workforce. “We are so proud of everything Becky has achieved, and we are so excited to see what she does next,” Tera said. “She always seems to surprise us with her incredible attitude and her excitement about whatever it is she is doing.”

CDS Monarch remains focused on its mission to assist people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, like Becky, to live and thrive in their communities. Seeing Becky take the skills she has learned in her vocational training and apply them at her new job in the community, is one of the many reasons we continue to work to provide the best services possible for the people we assist. We are so proud of what Becky has accomplished. “I just want her to find joy in whatever she is doing,” Joyce said. “She now has the confidence to take on any job. She loves working with people and she has grown more and more independent every day. We owe so much of that to CDS Monarch.”    

During this season of giving, we ask you to consider making a donation to the CDS Wolf Foundation in support of all those who CDS Monarch assists, like Becky and her peers.