Alexander Sumerwell is a young adult living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In June of 2017, at the age of 21, he graduated from The Community School of Maryland in Brookville. Alexander and his family found it took some time to get ahold of vital services after graduation.
Almost a year later, in May 2018, Alexander finally started at Community Living Inc. (CLI), located in Frederick. That summer, Alexander also became a participant of the Job Readiness program where he got to learn fundamental skills that he would later use to explore future employment. He says, one of his favorite things to do during his time in the program was “grooming the horses to keep them clean.”
He recently started his janitorial position at McDonald’s. He says his favorite part of his job is keeping the restaurant neat for the incoming guests. Alexander is currently looking to find a second job at a grocery store, hoping that one day he will be able to use his knowledge about fruits and vegetables in the produce department.
Alexander’s father, Brian Sumerwell, also hopes to see Alexander working in the produce department at a local grocery store. Brian currently works as a counselor for the Scott Key Center, helping adults with autism and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) during one-on-ones, job coaching, and a classroom setting.
Brian expands on his son’s Job Readiness experience by stating, “when he came home, he appeared to have uplifted spirits.” Brian also believes that through the Job readiness program, “[Alexander] achieved a level of independence” because he learned to complete many tasks on his own and with peers.
Mr. Sumerwell sometimes even refers his clients to Madison Fields to participate in the Job Readiness program if he thinks it would be a good fit for them. He believes that the program is “focused on doing things together” and introduces different ways of learning new skills.
We are truly inspired by Alexander’s hard work and motivation. We are delighted to have had the chance to invite him and Mr. Sumerwell back for an interview and to explore the farm once again.