We have had an exciting month with EIGHT confirmed job offers!


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Meet the newest members of the workforce!

Chris started with GiGi U in January of 2014 he immediately put a smile on everyone face. He was the perfect student and was always so professional. He took always took pride in helped the other students. When Chris started as an intern in Hugs & Mugs Cafe it was clear he took incredible pride in his work, so he quickly became a  mentor, then a shift leader, and finally assistant manager of Hugs + Mugs working under the store manager. He would assign numerous tasks for all the other interns in the store. Also, Chris would assist with the inventory, register, and opening the store.  We are all celebrating Chris as he begins his new employment with Ortho Arch as an inventory specialist!

Farzin was with the class of winter 2014 and he was a leader from the start. He soon was asked to be the assistant teacher and a Zumba instructor. His way of motivating his peers to give their Best of All was always inspiring! Farzin started at Hugs & Mugs as an intern and worked his way to office specialist assisting the store manager. Farzin would assist and create tasks for his fellow interns. He excelled at being the main person to count on for our field trips and birthday parties. Durning this time Farzin also held a job at Burger King, while he was proud of this he began to dream bigger, want more! He landed a job as an inventory specialist with Ortho Arch, and we are simply thrilled for him! Side note,  Farzin has goals to become the president of the company! Watch out world!

Aubrey was part of summer 2015 class of GiGi U. She was a leader in the class and a natural teacher! Her peers quickly learned she would be a great support and encouragement to them. While working at McDonalds Aubrey was able to use these skills and also share her amazing life drive with the customers, but like many of her peer, she soon began to want more out of her professional life. Aubrey started at Hugs & Mugs after graduating GiGi U and soon became a team leader in the Cafe. She always goes above and beyond in what she does for the store with no questions asked and we are so proud of all her hard work!  She is thrilled to be starting her job at Century Theatre. She loves the fact that she only has a 5 minute drive to her new job.

Brian aka the wonderful Mr. November (if you have snagged you 2018 Awareness Calander you know what we mean) 😉  was from our very first class of GiGi U!  Not only did he work at Hugs & Mugs upon graduation he was able to take what he learned and get a job at a local grocery store. He was proud to have a job did it with excellence and continued building his skills but knew he wanted more out of employment. Brian ventured out to find his dream job! His hard work paid off he is now a proud team member at Century Theatre.

We are not done yet!


Mike was one of our newest members to move on up from the classroom to the store. In the class, he was always on time, did his homework and put in the greatest effort. A real example of Best of all! Dedicated and committed to reaching his goals. Michael has been a complete joy to have in the Cafe! He takes great pride in greeting customers with all the welcoming excitement you can imagine!

David Jr began GiGi U in the summer of 2015 session, David is a kind funny young man who had big goals and needed the time and support to achieve some of the goals he had.  He took his work seriously and met expectations set for him. He overcame so many of his fears to become the team leader that he is today. Proud barely describes what we all feel for David Jr.

Maha came to GiGi U in summer 2016, she was a shy young lady. Maha worked very hard on her communication skills and confidence.  When Maha began her internship with Hugs & Mugs she truly stepped up to the plate. Maha takes great pride in opening the Cafe and has overcome her shyness and has shown that she is ready to work in her community!

Patrick or we say Mr. Gentlman, has always put others before himself. He was part of winter class 2014. He was quiet not because he was shy he was just so respectful of others that he never wanted to interrupt. Well, Patrick has found his voice and went from intern to mentor to team leader in the Hugs & Mugs Cafe and no one closes better than Patrick!

Mike, David Jr, Maha, and Patrick are thrilled to be starting jobs with Schaumber Boomers!  Make sure to visit them next time you are at a game!



The GiGi University progressive learning program is designed to motivate adults with Down syndrome to achieve their highest potential in the world through innovative, educational, goal-development and small group skills instruction that focus on health and wellness, career skills, community engagement and exceptional work opportunities. After finishing the 12-week program finishes students are then placed in the Hugs & Mugs café and become interns! Interns continue to learn and sharpen their skills by managing different aspects of a real-life retail environment. Hugs & Mugs create gifts from the heart: personalized mugs printed with artwork and photos-your design or designs created by the interns-you choose! Adults from GiGi University are involved in running ALL aspects of the business-design, production, food prep, baking, packaging, and customer service. During this internship, many opportunities are given to the interns so they can build a strong resume and find their place working in their communities! This is an exciting time, watching a student grow in confidence, skills and then find employment in fields that fulfill their life goals.

Far too many adults with Down syndrome are not given the opportunity to work in jobs that truly fulfill them, we are excited to share our GiGi’s Career Achievement Center will offer a completely new opportunity to springboard adults with Down syndrome into the business world! This exciting new track, GiGi’s Professionals, will help adults with Down syndrome learn the professional skills needed to thrive in an office team setting. The program was inspired by adults with Down syndrome at GiGi’s who are asking for a chance to work alongside adults in an office setting and become an invaluable member of a team.


Dream Big, Work Hard & Your Dreams are Achievable!




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