They might be separated by thousands of years and thousands of miles but Greg Miller, President and CEO of Penn-Mar Human Services, and famed Greek Philosopher Aristotle share a belief in the power of self-discovery to transform lives. “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom,” said Aristotle and Greg Miller couldn’t agree more. This focus has become key to making Penn Mar Human services one of Maryland’s premier programs for helping individuals with disabilities become contributing members of their community.
No one knows the process of self-discovery better than the organization itself. Beginning in the early 1980s Penn Mar began exploring how to help students with disabilities move from structured school programs to adulthood. What they learned, after many years of successfully running sheltered workshop environments, was that their residents really needed a way to become more connected to the larger world, to “transform life into living.”
This discovery led to a shift in focus away from workshops to a community based career-training program. The transition took some doing. Just finding any willing partners and placing their residents in any open jobs didn’t fit with Penn Mar’s overall philosophy.
Greg Miller makes Penn Mar’s vision clear. “We DO NOT play on employer’s sympathy. We DO NOT differentiate that anything less should be expected from our folks.” Instead Penn Mar makes sure that the people and the jobs are in alignment. This discovery process is the secret weapon that has made the program so successful…..
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