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Donna is someone who is always asked to be a part of PDS presentations because her personal story is so compelling. Donna is has had a tough life and has not always enjoyed so many opportunities. Donna was living in a group home and had never had any real work experience when she was first referred to PDS in 2000. She often complained of missing her "kinfolk" and her mother in particular. She really needed a change in her life and she was able to articulate that quite clearly.

Our Executive Director, Lisa Markey,  fell in love with Donna right away because she was such a strong advocate for herself. Donna visited other programs and was very choosy. She liked PDS because most of our clients were employed and she said, "I don't want to be hanging out in parks all day!" She was very persistent, telling her social worker, "I want a job!"

Donna interviewed for her position at Target in her best church clothes, which made a great impression. She also took a lengthy character questionnaire and passed it with flying colors! Donna was hired at Target and enjoyed her position as a stocker for many years.

Donna is also known for her elaborate Halloween disguises and is known for winning our annual costume contest. 


Donna took her self-advocacy skills even further and managed to score herself a fabulous apartment with a friend and Supported Living Services from Casa Allegra so she no longer lives in a group home.

Donna has been through some more hard times with her health but her spirit and determination helped her pull through, just as her attitude and strong sense of self have helped her in the past. Donna is an amazing, strong woman and she exemplifies all that PDS is about.

Currently Donna is working with Wuppermobiles and the CORS soap job. She uses her earnings to go to casinos, buy lottery tickets and play bingo.

- June 2017

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