Laurence Exantus, who receives services through AHRC NYC’s Stephen B. Siegel Day Services, spends much of her time going to church, shopping, spending time with family, and working at The New School in Manhattan. Laurence is a key member of The New School’s cafeteria crew as she ensures that it is well supplied, clean, and orderly. She enjoys connecting with the school’s students and assisting them as needed. Laurence has been employed with the New School for over two years and her duties and responsibilities are expected to expand in the near future!

Laurence secured her job through the collaborative efforts of the Consortium for Customized Employment, (CCE). CCE, spearheaded by Job Path, is a network of twelve agencies, including AHRC NYC, that work together to secure customized employment for the people they support. The U.S. Department of Labor defines Customized Employment as “a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job candidate or employee and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both. It is based on identifying the strengths, conditions, and interests of a job candidate or employee through a process of discovery.”

In celebration of Developmental Disability Awareness Month in March, Laurence was asked to deliver the closing remarks of the 2017 Customized Employment Awards. The award ceremony, hosted by the NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and the CCE, honored employers for their positive impact on the lives of New Yorkers with disabilities.

As she gave her closing words, Laurence’s smile lit up the room. She mentioned how she “loves working at the New School and making [my] own money.” Laurence Exantus is a testament that customized employment works!

We are proud to congratulate Laurence on her continued success at The New School and to thank Minnette Brown, Josue Jean-Gilles, and the staff and peers of the Stephen B. Siegel Day Services for being key members of Laurence’s support team.