Helping America's Most Vulnerable

Teen With Intellectual Disabilities Cheers

Taylor, a 16-year-old with intellectual disabilities, moved into our Olympia Community Home two years ago. Taylor’s father, a single parent, was raising her, but his job often took him offshore, and he felt Taylor needed greater care than he could provide.

Though well-adjusted, Taylor needs help in dressing, bathing and handling other daily tasks. Volunteers of America’s community homes excel at giving persons with disabilities this kind of care while helping them fulfill their potentials.

At first, Taylor found it hard to adjust. But the staff and other residents embraced her, and she warmed to her new home. As the youngest of eight residents, Taylor bonded with the others. Her infectious smile and playful personality emerged. “We try not to baby her,” says a staff member, “but once you meet Taylor, you can’t help but want to hug her and do for her.”

Taylor loves attending Landry High School, and always enjoyed watching the cheerleaders practice. Recently, she asked the staff to take her to a football game. What they didn’t know was that Taylor had joined the cheerleading squad and cheered at the game. She wanted to surprise the staff with her accomplishment, and she succeeded. Another staff member says, “Taylor is a bright spot in our day. This is why I do what I do.”