Gina’s Story

Do you remember earning your first paycheck? Beyond the money, that paycheck was a symbol: of independence, purpose, hard work and the value of your time. Supporters of Ability Beyond in 2017 have made that milestone possible for hundreds of people with disabilities.

In 2018, we can do it again. Please consider supporting our mission through a tax-deductible contribution, so we may continue to empower people at home, within the community, and at work—people like Gina.

“I wouldn’t change a thing about my life at all,” said the 24-year-old New Yorker with a developmental disability, who found her first job through an Ability Beyond program called Without Walls. “I’m doing a lot more with my time than before, and when I get my paycheck, I’m making money for something I like doing.’”

Although she is a hard worker, Gina still faced twice the odds of unemployment compared to jobseekers without disabilities. In fact, just one in five people with disabilities actively participate in the workforce due to barriers in transportation and supports. The alternative is an isolated life of dependence. Yet here at Ability Beyond,
opportunity has helped Gina overcome the odds—and after two rigorous years of internships, Gina found her competitive part-time job at Staples. As it turns out, that paycheck will eventually put the world at Gina’s fingertips.

“I’m saving all my money so I can finally afford to go to Paris,” she said. “To me, Staples is more than just a job. It’s like a fun career. It’s wonderful, and I’ve made so many friends.”

When you support Ability Beyond, you support our mission to discover, build, and celebrate the talents of people like Gina. That means more paychecks, more memories, and more of our neighbors empowered to go beyond the odds, to live with independence and dignity wherever, and however, they choose. Thank you in advance for helping us to expand our service area and change more lives each year.

Click here to donate! 

The Hearst Foundations have granted Ability Beyond $75,000 to empower special education students during the transition from high school to employment, helping them achieve independent adult lives and competitive employment within communities of their choice. The funding will support unemployment intervention programs for recent high school graduates; educational workshops and…
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven has awarded $15,000 in grant funding to Ability Beyond, a nonprofit health and human service agency, to close the unemployment gap among local young adults with disabilities who remain jobless three-to-five years after high school graduation. “We are deeply grateful for the strategic…