Job Story: Sophie Helps at the JCC

Sophie volunteered at her local Jewish community center for three years. For the first two years, Sophie went with her teaching assistant from the 18 + program at school. They rode the city bus to the center one morning a week. After Sophie graduated from high school, her attendant through the Medicaid waiver helped her. To do the job, Sophie had to learn where to get the towels that needed folding, how to fold them, and how to pay attention in a busy setting.

Sophie was a member at the community center. At her yearly ARD meeting, her mom talked about how much Sophie liked the center and asked if the school would support Sophie to volunteer there. The school liked the idea. Ivy reached out to a friend who was a board member who liked the idea, too. The school team met with the center’s staff who came with ideas on how Sophie could help them out. They thought folding towels, helping to file papers, and watering plants would be the best fit for Sophie. They had to guess based on what they knew about Sophie because she does not use a lot of words.

The main part of the job was folding small towels for members to use at the gym. Sophie watered plants and sometimes sorted papers, too. She would go with her attendant to the welcome desk and the staff would tell her what needed to be done for the day. Her attendant was there to give her prompts as needed.

Sophie liked to volunteer at the center because she enjoyed the people. She loved riding the city bus from school. After the third year, Sophie decided she wanted to do something else. Like everyone else, Sophie wanted to try new things.