David, a 26-year-old adult with autism, is a participant in the Job Readiness Program (JRP) at Madison Fields. He joined the program in September 2019. His growth, leadership skills, and contagious enthusiasm is immense, and that’s exactly why we’re shining the spotlight on him!
Background information about David
David was born in Peachtree City, Georgia to Anne and Del Boland. They eventually moved to Naperville, Illinois due to new work opportunities. David would attend high school at Metea Valley High School. After he graduated, he got a job working at We Grow Dreams, a garden center in West Chicago. During that time, he was able to assist with composting, product placement, and helping to eliminate waste by cleaning and reusing planting pots. After he moved to Maryland, David volunteered at Dirt Cheap, where he priced and stocked items.
David used to own a successful can business, Yes David Can, where he would collect and recycle aluminum cans. He eventually sold the business to a peer who he knew from the Special Olympics. David plays Duckpin Bowling and used to play Bocce Ball in the Special Olympics in his free time. He also enjoys watching golf and even dressed up as his favorite golfer on Halloween – Tiger Woods!
Experience in the Job Readiness program
Since joining Nancy, JRP Manager, and his peers in 2019, David has learned many fundamental skills like problem solving, communicating with peers, and working together to complete activities. He has been able to build on these skills through multiple sessions in the JRP and earn a leadership role, guiding his peers to reach a common goal. A farm skill David has mastered is picking hooves, and his word of advice is, “Don’t pick the frog- it could damage the hoof.” Horse care is one of the tasks for the JRP which is a shared favorite between David and his peers.
One of David’s absolute favorite parts of the JRP is hanging out with his favorite horse, Shay! David says, “I Love Shay! Me and Shay love each other so so much!”
After the JRP
David has created a vision board for all the things he loves and hopes to achieve! His dream job is to continue caring for horses. He also wants to, one day, live on his own, get married, and continue his passion for photography.
Here are some of David’s photos:
- What are your thoughts on County/State resources for adults with autism and I/DD in Maryland, and specifically Montgomery County?
Anne – “I think we’ve been pretty pleased. I would say that Montgomery county has more of a variety [of adult programs] to offer.”
- How did you hear about Madison Fields?
Anne – “I’m on the board of Haven Universe and one day, we had a field trip out at Madison Fields.”
- Do you think the JRP at Madison Fields has helped David? How?
Anne – “I think that David coming out here has not only helped him with skill building, but helped his overall maturity, and overall he has done better at home and in the community.”
Anne – “You can tell he’s proud.”
Sam, David’s 1:1 – “I’ve noticed in the beginning there were tasks he didn’t want to do like Mucking. But now he comes in and initiates those tasks because he knows he can get them out of the way.”
- How has COVID affected David’s daily life since April?
Anne – “I would say it put us in a spot to get creative and find more stuff to do. We looked for more virtual experiences – there’s a lot out there and we tried building what the days look like.”
Sam- “David likes to hang out with his friends and it’s hard for him to get together with his friends right now. Madison Fields has really helped a lot by giving him an opportunity to see friends in a safe environment.”
- Where do you hope to see David in 5 Years?
Anne – “I’d like to see him continue to mature and develop those skills, to live in a supportive environment, probably a more rural environment. The ultimate goal is to be able to live and maximize what he can for himself.”
Learn more about A Day in the Job Readiness Program!