Signature Career Development-Based Programs

The GiGi’s Career Development programs are progressive learning programs that are designed to motivate adults with Down syndrome to achieve their highest potential in the world. We achieve this through innovative, educational, goal-development and small group skills instruction, health and wellness, career skills, empowerment, community engagement and exceptional work opportunities. GiGi’s Playhouse offers a three-tiered career development program that prepares adults with Down syndrome to gain meaningful employment/volunteerism in their respective communities. Recommended for adults with Down syndrome age 18 and up.

GiGi’s Career Development programs have positive impacts on adults with Down syndrome and on the community at large. Every interaction and friendly conversation reminds the community that stereotypes and discrimination toward people with Down syndrome must change. In doing so, more employers will seriously consider hiring ready and willing candidates with Down syndrome allowing communities, companies and people to grow stronger together. Our I Accept You initiative is to help communities gain a stronger understanding that promotes an environment of inclusion and acceptance for all.

 

Goals 

  • Increase self-confidence:The GiGi U learning program is an environment where each lesson promotes communication skills, self-advocacy and personal accountability through goal-oriented activities.  These activities help to significantly improve meaningful family, friend and community interactions as well as further promoting independence.
  • Increase career skill knowledge: GiGi U teaches students appropriate and proactive work place behaviors by applying best practices in areas of customer service and team building. Students participate in community projects to apply their skills by volunteering to better prepare for work opportunities.
  • Increase personal wellness:  Through physical fitness, nutrition and safety awareness training, GiGi U students gain a stronger sense of the importance of remaining active and making choices that promote and sustain a lifelong healthy lifestyle.
  • Increased  quality of life:GiGi U provides a hands-on, multi-sensory learning environment to help students live a well-rounded, healthy, confident and fully enriching life.  Depending less on those around them and by promoting their voice, students improved their presence inside and out of the GiGi’s community.

GiGi Prep Programs

GiGi Prep programs are progressive learning program for adults, compromised of modular programs that meet multiple times each week for 6-10 weeks in length that encompass Confident U, Healthy U, and Whole U.  

GiGi Prep    The GiGi Prep program is step one in our progressive learning program for adults with Down syndrome. Meeting multiple times each week for 10 weeks the curriculum focuses on Confident U, Healthy U, and Whole U. Our GiGi Prep program has an emphasis on building communication skills, money management, customer service skills, team building and wellness. This program is an application-based program with high expectations to motivate adults with Down syndrome. GiGi Prep is designed for individuals aspiring to enroll in our GiGi University program and continue on the career development path to participate in our GiGi Professional program. However, a participant may need repetition of this course before moving on. Recommended for ages 18+.

 

GiGi University 

GiGi University (GiGi U)–  A comprehensive and progressive learning program tailored specifically for adults with Down syndrome comprised of a 15-week instructional program. The ideal candidate will be highly goal-oriented and motivated to achieve a new level of personal success. GiGi U is application and interview based. Participants will be asked to meet with the program leader prior to class and will be provided with expectations for commitment to the program. Upon successful completion of the GiGi U program and with their new preparedness and drive to succeed, graduates then move on to our GiGi Professional program as interns. The skills gained at GiGi U will resonate with graduates throughout their careers.  Pre-req: GiGi Prep.

GiGi Professional – Whether it’s a retail environment, a design studio, a production space, or an office, the GiGi Professional internship program builds on the skills learned in GiGi U with practical applications and the achievement of certifications. During the 13-week internship each intern will purposefully progress through certifications learning and demonstrating strengths and interests in transferable job skills, building their resume for placement in a job or volunteer position in the community. Pre-req: GiGi U.

Hugs & Mugs –  Hugs + Mugs is a café and retail store run by GiGi Professional interns, support staff and volunteers who are involved in running ALL aspects of the business-design, production, prep, sales, packaging, and customer service. Each intern manages each aspect of a real-life retail environment increasing their knowledge of transferrable skills for placement in the community. Hugs & Mugs creates gifts from the heart: personalized mugs printed with artwork and photos -your design or ours-you choose!  Visit our site at:  www.hugsandmugs.org.