By Rebecca Skipper, Team Member, Disability.gov
Some say life is a lot like baking. It’s all about finding the right combination of ingredients, rising to the occasion and savoring the sweetness. Tasha seems to have the recipe down pat.
The Disability.gov team met up with Tasha at Wildflour Caterers in Chantilly, Virginia, where she works doing a variety of tasks, including prep work in the kitchen and helping maintain the onsite café. But her favorite activity is baking, and in particular, rolling out and shaping the dog biscuits the company supplies to Whole Foods and Wegmans stores across the Washington, D.C., area. Wildflour’s mission includes a commitment to providing employment and training opportunities to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, like Tasha, who has Down syndrome.
According to Tasha’s mother, food has been the common thread through her vocational experiences so far. Before joining the Wildflour team in September 2014 and as part of her post-high school training program in the Arlington Public School system, Tasha worked in food service at several other locations, including Fort Myer Officers’ Club and Bernie’s Café at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. During high school, she also worked a couple of hours a week in a bank, but found that she didn’t enjoy it as much as food service. Tasha’s job training took place with the help of the Arlington Career Center, an extension of Arlington Public Schools that helps county residents prepare for employment through career, technical and academic training.