Chapel Haven’s CareerAbility program is celebrating new jobs and work experiences that are happening even in this most challenging time. This summer, congratulations are going out to:

Wyatt enjoys the work

Wyatt C., who is volunteering at Massaro Community Farm of Woodbridge. A student in Chapel Haven’s Asperger Syndrome Adult Transition program, Wyatt helps maintain the garden at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Oxford on Mondays and Wednesdays and on Fridays, he works at a garden at the Salvation Army in Ansonia.

“I really like working at Massaro Community Farms gardens,” Wyatt said. “I’m getting great work experience and learning a little about farming.”

CareerAbility offers volunteer opportunities to help individuals gain pre-vocational skills and experience in work based settings. The team of CareerAbility works hard to find appropriate placements around Greater New Haven county and has done well in establishing great contacts with local employers and community partners. 

Abby P. at Massaro Community Farm, Woodbridge

Abby P. is also taking part in volunteering through CareerAbility’s Summer catalog. Her experience was part of the “CareerAbility Gardens – Cultivating Skills” offering and much of it took place at Massaro Community Farm. Abby weeds, waters the gardens, loads the vans and helps out with seasonal agricultural tasks.

CareerAbiilty forges relationships with multiple employers and community partners in the area so that adults have a range of choices on where they want to develop their employment skills. Suzanne Snowden, Work Based Learning Specialist for CareerAbility and lead on the project, said “Abby enjoys being outside and working on the farm.”

CareerAbility’s career Development Advisor, Sarah Elsdon, helps each Chapel Haven adult referred to employment services identify what they like to do and the team cultivates opportunities for individualized experiences where clients can gain work skills in their area of preference. Abby has a strong interest in horticulture and these skills will advance her career pathway into this industry and add to her resume as she seeks employment.

Seth B., has recently begun an internship at Race Brook Country Club in Orange as part of his Facilitated Discovery experience in CareerAbility’s Employment Services.

Seth’s main tasks include washing and drying golf carts, disinfecting touch points on golf carts, collecting loose golf balls on the driving range, polishing returned clubs and storing them in the bag room, setting the range (refilling golf balls for the driving range), sweeping the cart barn, and cleaning golf cart windshields. Seth is happy about the internship.

“I’m glad I got an opportunity to work at Race Brook Country Club. Ever since I started working there, I have put a lot of hard work and effort into what I’ve been doing,” Seth said. “I enjoy being outside with not only my co-workers, but the members as well. Especially socializing with them. It makes me feel safe and comfortable. I couldn’t have asked for more. I would like to thank my parents, my supervisors and my friends for making this experience enjoyable.”

“Seth has been doing great,” said Paul Barnsley, the pro at Race Brook Country Club. “Thank you, Chapel Haven, for everything you do.”

Race Brook Country Club has been chosen for two consecutive years by Chapel Haven’s Golf Committee to host Chapel Haven’s annual golf tournament. This year’s tournament is the 6th annual and is set for Sept. 29. The tournament is nearly sold out. The club’s decision to host a Chapel Haven intern is well appreciated.

Seth out on the course

“We are so happy that the longstanding partnership that Chapel Haven Schleifer Center has with Race Brook Country Club could be extended to offer CareerAbility’s clients meaningful work experience,” said Danielle Chiaraluce, Executive Director of CareerAbility. “This experience will benefit Seth as we develop his Employment Profile in preparation for a future job placement.”

Also congrats this summer to Rose. R, who has begun a new job in the paint department of Home Depot, North Haven. This placement came about thanks to a partnership between Chapel Haven’s CareerAbility program and Kens Krew, Inc.

Rose R. has a new job at Home Depot

The mission of Ken’s Krew Inc., a non-profit corporation, is to provide vocational training and job placement services to young adults with cognitive disabilities who are transitioning into the workforce.  Ken’s Krew, through paid employment, provides the opportunity for individuals to become productive members of their community and employees of local retail stores, such as Home Depot.

Rose will balance this position and her second job at Chapel Haven Schleifer Center. “It does not surprise me that Rose secured such an exceptional opportunity within Home Depot through our Ken’s Krew partnership,” Danielle said. “She is a hard worker and always willing to take on new challenges. Home Depot has found themselves a very reliable employee.”

Chapel Haven’s CareerAbility Program was founded to meet a vital element of Chapel Haven’s mission: to create meaningful employment for its clients. A transdisciplinary team from CareerAbility works hard to ensure that placements are matched to every client’s individual strengths and vocational preferences. To ensure success, CareerAbility’s model incorporates a unique combination of best practices.

Thus far, 89% of adults referred to CareerAbility have been placed into competitive employment. For more information, contact Executive Director Danielle Chiaraluce at