Tiara’s radiant personality will make anybody who sees her on Paxton Campus smile. She works as the receptionist for the ALLY Advocacy Center three times a week through STEP Up (Supported Training & Employment Program); a day support program that teaches vocational skills to adults with disabilities. Some of Tiara’s tasks include: delivering mail on campus, greeting the guests at ALLY, making copies, and shredding papers.
Since being in STEP Up, Tiara has grown to be more independent. In fact, one of her main jobs on campus is to sell items from a mobile snack cart to the employees and bus drivers at The Arc– which she does completely alone. She restocks and organizes the snacks and drinks on the cart, which has several names including “Snax on Pax” and “Bart the Cart”, and she manages the money from the sales. Sometimes Tiara works with another member of Step Up in order to serve more customers. Tammy Goddard, ALLY program director, says
“Tiara is a great sales person – she loves to bring around the snack cart and if she knows you like a certain drink or snack, she puts it aside for you.”
Once Tiara has completed her work shift in the morning, she enjoys being social with everybody on campus. People know when Tiara is on campus because they’ll hear her greeting anybody she sees! She loves to ask people about their pets and asks how their pets are doing, because she loves animals as much as people. She usually ends the conversation by telling them to make sure that they give their pets a hug and a kiss from her.
Tiara is also very adept at making handmade cards for everybody at The Arc of Loudoun.
“She is a like a one-woman Hallmark store – she’s always making sure she is on top of making every single person on campus a birthday card, a get well card, or a going away card if they are leaving,” says Tammy. “She also makes a point to ask everyone who stops in ALLY what their two favorite colors are, and she draws pictures and cards for all of the new clients when they come in.”
Besides creating cards, Tiara enjoys just being able to work at The Arc of Loudoun, saying,
“I can’t imagine working anywhere else, being here makes me so happy!”