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Leslie Madruga Joins Staff

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

Leslie is a wonderful example of how Courtney's House is empowering our participants and improving their quality of life.

Leslie is a participant whose skills have grown significantly from her experiences in the vocational and social programs.

"Before coming to Courtney’s House, I just hung out with family because I didn’t have any friends to do things with."

“Six years ago, before joining Courtney’s House, Leslie did not carry conversations well. She would look to me to speak for her and avoided talking altogether,” says Carol Madruga, Leslie’s mom. “She was very withdrawn due to negative school and life experiences outside the home.”

“Since coming to Courtney’s House and interning at Fig, her self-esteem has blossomed. Our family is amazed at her level of confidence. She knows how to express herself and, for us, this is huge.”

Today, Leslie is enjoying life and her employment at Fig, our in-house restaurant. “Before coming to Courtney’s House, I just hung out with family because I didn’t have any friends to do things with," Leslie explains.

“Now I have so many friends and I have lots of confidence. I meet and play games at the social classes and art projects are my favorite. Erin, our program manager, always has good games!"

“My job coach helped me come out of my shell. If I was afraid to do something, we did it together until I felt that I could do it on my own. Now I see the positive in myself and I have self-esteem.”

After working through the internship program and reaching many personal and professional goals, Leslie has joined the staff and is employed in our restaurant. She has learned to operate the computer, as well as how to be a great hostess. Her next goals are to learn how to waitress and to help with catering events.

We were also delighted to learn that Leslie has an inspiring entrepreneurial spirit. In the social program, Leslie discovered that she had a natural talent for creating artworks. With her growing self-confidence, she launched her own business, Leslie’s Custom Creations, making and selling greeting cards that are for sale at Courtney’s House.

Leslie sold an original painting to a customer.
Leslie sold an original painting to a customer.

“The unique and positive programs at Courtney’s House are making real, measurable differences in the participants’ lives,” says Carol. “The job coaches and other staff take the time to TEACH values and skills. They are patient, supportive and accepting. They enable young adults like Leslie to understand that they have value and a place in our community just like anyone else.”

Empowering those with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities

Courtney’s House is a nonprofit organization offering vocational training and employment, in addition to social & life skills training for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (ID/D), an underserved population in our community.

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