Impacting Lives Through Vocational Training

The mission of A New Leaf is to provide life skills to people with developmental disabilities and autism, along with marketable job training through horticulture therapy, community-based vocational placement and residential services, thus increasing their independence and enhancing their individual choices.

Nearly 29,000 people with developmental disabilities living in Green Country experience a myriad of daily challenges simply because of how they were born. Research shows that 85% of adults with developmental disabilities are unemployed, compounding these challenges and often leading to a life of poverty.

The vast majority of this population spends their lives isolated from the community because they don’t have the skills necessary to secure and maintain employment. A New Leaf believes each person has the ability to contribute to society; the organization’s goal is to help individuals reach their full potential.

“A New Leaf and BASC have partnered to provide a vocational training program at the Center five days a week,” according to Broken Arrow Senior Center Director Sean Simpson. “Their clients are part of a safe environment with a focus on developing marketable job skills to increase independence, individual choices and integration into the community.”

“The crew does a fantastic job, and they exhibit tremendous pride in the work they perform,” Simpson added.

Based on each person’s skills, goals, and preferences, participants work alongside a job coach in A New Leaf’s greenhouses; retail locations; three acre vegetable farm, SEEDS Academy; crafting jewelry; or in one of 13 different community sites such as Broken Arrow Senior Center. Clients improve their quality of life by honing skills, developing confidence in their abilities to be increasingly self-sufficient and earning a wage.