When we first met Sean, he lived his life largely within the confines of a dark apartment nestled in the middle of the city. He rarely ventured out, he rarely made eye contact, he rarely shaved or cut his hair.
“I just didn’t think it would be this hard,” he told us, of trying to find employment and leading a productive life after high school. He had interests and goals and dreams, none of which appeared to be within reach. Most of all, he wanted to work, and bring his unique talents, skills and interests to the workplace.
When Gateway first approached Whitemud Equine Centre about hiring inclusively, administrative director Diane David was supportive but unsure whether the centre could offer a position that would be the right fit for someone with an intellectual disability.
Gateway took a tour of the business and had a meeting to discuss the organization’s needs. We discovered there was a great deal of work that needed to be done and that Sean was able to do it.
Sean has a keen interest in horticulture and animals. He requires a low-stress environment.
He turned out to be the right fit for Whitemud Equine Centre, who hired Sean in May 2013.
He is completely dedicated to his job. He makes eye contact. He engages with his colleagues. He takes better care of himself. He is happier than he has ever been.
“I love it there so much,” Sean tells us of his job at Whitemud. “This is my dream job.”
Sean thinks of his colleagues at Whitemud as his family. They think of him the same way.