NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — G.R.O.W.E.R.S. Inc. is an organization dedicated to community-based horticulture and building the skills of those with developmental disabilities.
The organizations’ purpose is to serve adults with developmental disabilities. They have people working that have just graduated from high school or transition programs, in their early 20s, up until retirement age and past. It’s considered a vocational program where they come and they learn skills with a horticultural setting.
G.R.O.W.E.R.S. Inc. also has an education portion of their program, called the Greenbrier School, where they do life skills on how to take care of plants.
“It’s my dream come true because I never thought that I’d be able to work anywhere like this,” said Matthew Ferrow.
The state funds G.R.O.W.E.R.S. Inc. and encourages them to teach the skills that people need to be individually employed.
“It’s a good program because it shows that handicapped people can do more than just what people think they can. It doesn’t limit you. They encourage you to do more and more,” said Robert Guarino. “I’ve had other jobs before and they were great jobs but nothing as physical and rewarding as this.”
“When I started this program. I saw within a day or two that these guys were capable of doing just about anything,” said Scott Hickman, Executive Director. “It’s so awesome to those people grow as they learn their skills and to get better and better at them.”
“I really love all these people here. This is my home right now. I feel like this is my family now,” said Ferrow.
“I can see how much it can change somebody’s life. And I think it’s very important. There are not many programs like this around. It’s very important to me that we be able to continue to do this,” said Hickman.
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