Alexis Armstrong, 2016 Graduate of the Year

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Positive outlook carries her through life

When Alexis Armstrong was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of three, the doctor said her personality would get her through life. Alexis has proven that to be true by overcoming any obstacles in her way, showing that she could live life on her own terms and not at the mercy of a disability.

As an adult, Alexis wanted to be an active part of her community, and she thought working would allow her to be social while developing new skills. To help her find the right job, Alexis and her family turned to Goodwill.

“I just felt like Goodwill gave her the best opportunity to succeed,” Alexis’ dad, Danny Armstrong, said.  

In Goodwill’s Community Employment program, an employment training specialist provides support to people with disabilities or barriers to employment who are seeking a job. Each person is unique, and the Goodwill staff take the time to get to know every job candidate in order to connect them with the right local business.

From the application and interview to on-the-job training and follow-ups, Goodwill staff provide support to both employee and business every step of the way.

When Alexis landed a job with Families Together, a local nonprofit who provides services for families and their children with disabilities, it was the perfect match. Executive Director Connie Zienkewicz encourages other businesses to look for ways to incorporate people with disabilities into their workforce and wanted to do the same at Families Together.

“We’re here to look for the ability in people and to find the niche that they can fill to make our organizations or our businesses better at what we do,” Connie said.

Now Alexis is the face of the Families Together Wichita office, answering the phones and greeting clients in addition to completing other administrative work.

“My favorite part of working here is to be around families that have kids with CP and other disabilities. I am excited to be able to help people like me,” Alexis said.