Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

Dogtopia Foundation: Employment for adults with autism

The foundation plays a huge part in the Tysons Corner location here. The Tysons Corner location, it does have now nine employees that are within the autism spectrum, That work either full-time or
part-time in varying jobs throughout the store whether they be as a rover, just
doing spa services, canine coach or secondary canine coach. The foundation is the heartbeat of this store for a lot of reasons. That cause alone opens up so many doors,
avenues for people on the spectrum. It gives them a great thing to work towards,
a sense of pride and it’s really… It’s taught me a lot of how how everybody
operates and acts and how we all need to treat each other. It’s something that is
bigger than just walking into a job. Working with our foundation hires is
extremely rewarding, it’s really fun to watch them take on new challenges to
grow in their learning paths and to develop new skills that they can use
here at work but that they can also take home with them. I think we’re all
human – everyone’s different, no one’s the same, even on the spectrum
and not on the spectrum, we’re all the same, we’re all humans we all should be
treated equally. So it certainly means a lot because I wanted to work with the
animals since I was about eight years old. Now I’m here as an adult – Doing that, doing just that – working with
animals directly, hands-on with all the benefits and all the with all the
benefits and I guess any downsides that come with and I have it all. It’s for a
cause that matters and the most important thing is that it’s a cause
that matters that’s never going away. There is not a cure for autism. But… there’s a way to learn to allow that
adult to be an independent person and have that dignity and that value of
earning and living in something that they love to do and they strive to do
and I don’t know a community member that wouldn’t support a cause like that but
it all comes from having a two-minute conversation with the new a client in your
lobby that day and showing them what a difference they can make.

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