Through these meetings one thing became clear, finding and securing a career was a must if individuals were to be able to have a feeling of self-worth and add to quality of life.
I knew where my focus needed to be - but how could I assist with so many that had such varying needs? The answer was right in front of me, which is usually the case. I could use my skills as a technology trainer.
Over the next two and a half years many versions of this training came to light, a LEGO store was the first try, but the overhead and money needed to start such a venture was well beyond my reach. I teamed with two other families and we formed a non-profit organization that could be used to create a work environment for this part of society.
In March of 2012 the opportunity finally presented itself to have an office, a real space that would put into practice what we had been writing down and outlining on too many notebooks and pieces of paper. The main mall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin was offering store fronts to pop-up groups. We fit the mold, and although we were turned down for our first idea, we kept moving forward and pivoting (a term we learned all too well). By the start of August a lease was signed and work began on Einstein Productions, a digital storytelling space that would offer Marquette University Alumni the opportunity to free-lance their talent in an office space, complete with street address and phone number different from their home.
In exchange for use of the office space, these mentors would build social, work and technical skills required by adults with Asperger Syndrome.
The store needed many upgrades to electrical, furniture and a fresh coat of paint before we could open the doors. Members of the group donated time and money towards renovations. On September 17, 2012 Einstein Productions opened its doors to the public. Check out the photo gallery to see the work that went into making this space a reality.
On October 1, 2012 we will celebrate with a grand opening - if you are in the Milwaukee Area - stop on the second floor of the Grand Avenue Mall - the Plankinton building side - and say hello!