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What did you want to be when you grew up?

Giving Tuesday PEIACL

Luca* thought he would never get to experience the taste of success.

He wasn’t encouraged to dream about his future. Because Luca has an intellectual disability.

As a high school student, Luca felt he had no options for his future. When asked how he felt about college, Luca says simply, “I never thought about it. I thought I couldn’t go.”

Like the close to one million Canadian’s with an intellectual disability, Luca was discriminated against. Luca and other people with intellectual disabilities are still excluded from everyday life, segregated into special classrooms, treated with awkwardness, fast-tracked onto social assistance and placed without choice into living facilities.

But this December 2nd, as part of Giving Tuesday, you can help by making a donation to PEI Association for Community Living (PEIACL). Your support will help end the exclusion of people with intellectual disabilities like Luca. Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday offers a chance to give back,  build community and better lives.

More than 74% of adults with intellectual disabilities are excluded from employment. Not because they can’t work but because they aren’t given a chance.

As Luca now knows.

In high school, Luca became involved with CACL’s Ready, Willing and Able program for inclusive employment and worked with his provincial ACL to explore his interests and make a career plan. Cooking was at the top of Luca’s list. “I always like cooking with my sister. We make deserts and I am really good at it,” he says. So Luca started with a co-op placement in a local restaurant.

On his first day, he was so nervous, he wouldn’t even touch the stove.

Now, three years later Luca is about to graduate from the Culinary Arts Program at a local community college. Recently, Luca’s new found confidence inspired him to compete in national competition. He placed 4th overall, beating out his classmates and other certified chefs.

PEIACL has a plan to start closing the employment gap for people with intellectual disabilities—because as you know well, a career can mean so much more than just a pay cheque to balance the monthly budget. Through work you meet new friends, you find purpose and meaning, you get a sense of belonging and of contributing, a sense of achievement and self-worth. Just like Luca!

Now, Luca gives back to his community through his cooking and he’s proud of the work he does. “I’m going to keep cooking for people. I want to cook in a restaurant and make people good food.”

Are you ready, willing and able to get involved?

Today, you can give back to your community. This December 2nd, as part of Giving Tuesday, your donation to PEIACL will help more than ever. Ready, Willing and Able is creating jobs in our community; help us reach new employers now with a donation this December.

A gift of just $10 or $25  will make a difference, helping PEIACL change the employment landscape. By making a gift to the PEIACL today you can help give more young people like Luca a chance!

P.S. Give today  and help connect people with intellectual disabilities who can and want to work, with real jobs for real pay. Then share your story and gift with your friends and loved ones!

  • Share this message on Facebook or Twitter, asking “What did you want to be when you grow up?”
  • Forward this email to your network! Add a personal note about why inclusive employment is important to you.
  • Have another idea? Spread the word that inclusive employment works, and get others involved!