Q&A with TMI Manager Celebrating 10 Years of Transforming Lives
From the moment Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) Supported Employment Division Manager Jennifer Arthur joined the TMI Temecula office 10 years ago she has been dedicated to creating new opportunities for TMI clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Her hard work has resulted in helping TMI clients to live their best life. We love what she had to say!
Q. What interested you about working at TMI?
A. I knew about TMI’s reputation. I applied and the rest is history!
Q. What is your favorite part about working at TMI?
A. Every single day is different and filled with surprises. I am constantly discovering new job sites, meeting new people, and hearing their stories. It’s been an adventure!
Q. What challenges do you and your clients face?
A. Some employers experience trepidation when hiring an individual with a disability. You can tell by their body language. They sometimes also try to speed through the interview without truly looking at the client and getting to know them and their abilities.
Q. How have you handled the challenges?
A. By simply trying to educate them, put them at ease, and explain what services we provide.
Q. How are you assisting TMI clients during the pandemic?
A. I’ve had to get creative by thinking of “outside the box” jobs that our clients can do and explore those options. Some clients had to change their employment goals due to this. For the most part, my clients have been very cognizant of the current events and have been adapting to the changes as well.
Q. How does making a difference in the lives of your clients make you feel?
A. Rewarding! I’m very fortunate to work at TMI. It gives me great pleasure to know that I work for a nonprofit that is making a true change within the disability community.
Q. What are your hopes for the future of individuals with developmental disabilities?
A. More open hearts and minds. More people willing to give others a chance.
Q. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A. My boys are 5 and 8. I love seeing the world through their eyes and spending time with them. Other than that, my husband tells me jokingly that I have the “flavor of the week” going on. One week I will be deep into learning how to make homemade pasta, ice cream and more from scratch. The next week, I will be focused on purging and completely reorganizing all of the closets in the house. This week, I am focused on changing up the décor in the bathrooms. So, it all varies!
Q. Who do you admire and why?
A. I admire all the mover and shakers that came before us and paved the way for equality for all. The ones who educated, empowered, and helped others.
Q. Words to live by?
A. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." - Muhammad Ali
Congratulations, Jennifer! TMI is very fortunate to have you on board!
It is the mission of the TMI Supported Employment program to support, enhance and educate the general workforce population on the contributing value of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through personalized integration, training and advocacy, TMI helps to develop the capabilities and strengths of all people desiring to work. Our mission drives our work to ensure that all people have the right to attain dignity and self-respect in the employment sector.
Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing since 2000. In 2020, we launched Disabled Veteran Employment Services. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.