To hold a job, live independently and become part of a community are ambitions many young adults have for themselves. But for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, such goals can seem out of reach.
But in Lafayette, Colo., a nonprofit called Imagine! is helping nearly 4,300 people with disabilities in surrounding counties integrate into the workforce and local communities and live independently by providing them with job training and placement, technical assistance and other supportive services.
“The greatest advantage of community integration over institutionalization is human dignity, respect and agency,” says Chris Baumgart, an assistive technology specialist for Imagine! Services.
Read the article here (page 7).
Abbey Brooks-Derzay never attended church growing up, but three years ago, as a survivor of sex trafficking, she decided to give it a try.
She walked through the doors of Life Church in Germantown, Wisconsin, and instantly felt accepted and welcomed. She started attending regularly and eventually joined the congregation.
“It was easy to be ashamed of myself,” she says, “but the lessons and the Scriptures have really shown me forgiveness—how to forgive myself and not hold hate for other people and to forgive them.” Read the article here.
Incorporated in 1951, Scottsdale, Arizona, is home to luxury resorts, spas and golf courses. It is also home to Scottsdale Bible Church, a nondenominational congregation that launched 57 years ago when members of Bethany Bible Church in nearby Phoenix sought to plant a similar church, says Jamie Rasmussen, Scottsdale Bible’s senior pastor.
Rasmussen, who is in his twelfth year serving at Scottsdale Bible, says the church grew rapidly during the 1980s and 1990s. Today, it offers seven services at the main Shea campus, three at the Cactus campus plus a Spanish language service, and three at Scottsdale Bible’s new North Ridge campus. Read the article here.
Twenty-five women in media — whose jobs range from online news site editor to newspaper to TV and radio to marketing executive — were honored in early November at the Top Women in Alabama Media Awards Dinner in Birmingham. Read the article here.
In Woodlawn, an underserved neighborhood in east Birmingham, a group of local teens are growing and harvesting bushels of crops, knowledge and opportunity.
The teens are all students or recent graduates from Woodlawn High School, the site of a two-acre urban farm where they and their instructors are growing banana peppers, turnips, collards, okra, sorghum and other produce, along with sunflowers and gomphrena and more than 40 apple, pear, plumb, fig and persimmon trees.
Destiny Nelson-Miles, 16, a soft-spoken 11th grader at Woodlawn, says she has already learned how to harvest, pull weeds around tender plants and build raised garden beds.
“I love how, if I plant something, I’m able to watch it grow and turn into this beautiful thing,” says Nelson-Miles. “It’s so amazing.” Read the full article here.
This spring, on the parking lot of the long-defunct Century Plaza Mall in Birmingham, Alabama, stand rows and rows of new Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
The cars, mostly sport utility vehicles, occupy nearly every parking space on the property as they have for weeks, starting well before the first day of spring.
“This is the first time we have a global launch for all markets simultaneously and not a phased launch by markets,” says Tuscaloosa County-based Mercedes-Benz US International (MBUSI) spokesperson Felyicia Jerald.
“As a result, we are using a number of locations in the plant and off-site locations nearby for the storage of those vehicles as a temporary storage for our vehicles.” Read the full article here.
The skyrocketing home prices and rents in California have created a true housing crisis. The broad spectrum of vulnerable, low-income individuals and families are disproportionately affected. They are priced out of their communities, cycled through bureaucratic systems, shunted into institutions or abandoned to the streets. Read the article.
When it comes to snagging a coveted medical residency on Match Day, the competition is hot and getting hotter. That is because the number of residency applicants in the U.S. Match has long outpaced the number of available medical residency spots. In fact, the number of residency registrants reached an all-time high of 43,909 in 2018, for only 30,232 first-year post-graduate (PGY-1) positions.
Getting the preferred residency is just the beginning. New interns often find the first few weeks on the job nerve-racking as they begin treating patients on their own.
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In an age when some of the most iconic American companies are no longer around, EBSCO Industries Inc., at age 75, is proving it has staying power.
EBSCO Industries’ founder, Elton Stephens, started out selling magazine subscriptions to pay for college during the Depression. After realizing he had a knack for sales, he soon organized a sales team. Then in 1944, he incorporated the business, and over the next several years, EBSCO grew, becoming one of the largest subscription services in the world, serving schools and universities, libraries and the military. Read the article.
Birmingham resident Ginger Mayfield knows first-hand the hassle that comes with hiring a babysitter — especially in a pinch.
She recalls one instance when she had an evening graduate school class to attend. After learning that her attorney husband, Tommy, had to work late the same night, she scrambled to find a sitter for the couple’s two children, ages 3 and 14 months at the time.
“At that point,” she says, “I probably had 20 names in my phone, a network of sitters that I had built out through our church and our community. So I had plenty of people to text, but I couldn’t fill that job through my network. I ended up having to miss my class.” Read the article.