New Green Oaks Life Prep Program in Arlington Preparing Adults with Intellectual Disabilities for Independent Living, Employment
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communication
Posted on December 11, 2020, December 11, 2020

Green Oaks Life Prep is a new program in Arlington that aims to provide adults with intellectual disabilities opportunities to develop the skills they need for personal independence and employment.

 Life Prep is one of three programs offered by Green Oaks Education and Support, Inc., a unique Christian school and adult education program founded in 2000 for individuals with Down syndrome and similar intellectual disabilities in the North Texas area. 

 Green Oaks launched its new three-year pilot program on the campus of Arlington Baptist University this past August. The seven men and women participating in the Life Prep program live in dormitories with supervision and participate in all campus activities, including chapel and sporting events, with ABU students. In addition to studying culinary arts or horticulture, the students are learning skills such as meal prep, doing laundry and grocery shopping so they may one day live on their own.

 “The Life Prep program is giving our students the skills they need to reach their goals and their dreams,” said Jean Jewell, Green Oaks executive director. “We are teaching them in a way they need to learn - with the steps they need to take - so they can then put those skills to use and become the best employees and the best people they can be.” 

 According to recent statistics, 34% of people with intellectual disabilities are employed and only half of those are employed competitively. Many desire to live as independently as possible in their communities. Green Oaks Education and Support, Inc. believes that a college-like environment where individuals are intensively trained and prepared for productive, independent lives is the missing piece in the spectrum of opportunities.

 Courses that the students are currently taking include Math and Money Management, Business Communication, Bible, Health and Wellness, Skills for Daily Life and Computer Skills. The goal by the third year of the three-year program is that the participants will be able to live in an apartment and participate in a hands-on internship within the community, eventually leading to gainful employment, Jewell said. 

 Kaeleigh Crose is one of the seven adults participating in the Life Prep program. Crose, 21, said one of her favorite things about living at Arlington Baptist University is attending chapel. 

 “I see myself in three years as an event planner/photographer. I'd like to be running my own business from my own home,” Crose said. “I hope to make my dream come true like my parents wanted me to and make them proud.”

 Her parents say they are already proud of their daughter’s accomplishments. 

 "We have seen miraculous changes in her since she started in August," her mother, Donna Crose said. "We are so thankful for Green Oaks Life Prep and Arlington Baptist University for starting this program."

 

Students participating in the Green Oaks Life Prep Program

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