Ready to Work Q&A!

Employment Coordinator Makini Anwisyi with Employment Academy participant Aaron Alster

Research shows hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense. Employees with disabilities are more productive, have lower absenteeism and stay in their job longer than their peers without disabilities.

The DSAGSL Ready to Work Initiative is dedicated to building relationships with companies and businesses in St. Louis, to raise awareness about why hiring individuals with Down syndrome makes sense for them and their community.  Additionally, the Ready to Work programs like the Employment Academy, Jr. Academy, Pop-Up Snack Shop, and DSAGSL Office Internship Program, work with self-advocates to explore their interests, build job skills, create written and visual resumes, and find meaningful employment.

Individuals with Down syndrome want to work and feel fulfilled in their jobs for the same reasons everyone does! Just ask the participants at our recent Employment Academy Class:

Q: What do you like about this class?

A: Being around people and making new friends –

A big thanks to the awesome group that attended the recent Employment Academy class!

Andrew Suelmann, age 32

Q: What have you learned?

A: I learned about different jobs, people, and I learned that I want to work at Applebee’s and at a hospital! – Aaron Alsterer, age 29

Q: Why do you want to get a job?

A: To get money! – Christine, age 21

A: To be friendly, work, and learn skills. – Seth Kilnzey, age 20

Q: What type of job do you want?

A: Work for NCIS – Leah Hammann, age 22

A: Work as a babysitter with kids – Naddie, age 20

Q: What would you like to buy/do with the money you’ll earn?

A: Save money for college – Leah

A: Big house (with my own restroom) – Christine

A: Clothes, new guitar case, guitar pick – Aaron

A: New apartment, video games, go to the movies, go out to eat with friends – Andrew

If you would like more information about hiring awesome and hard-working individuals with disabilities, please contact Erin Suelmann at or Makini Anwisye at You can also learn more on our website!