This week's guest is such a treat for us. I met Jorge at a Podcast Conference when we first started this journey and I was so concerned that this idea wouldn't work. He was kind and so excited to see it take off. He came right up to me to share the resource he was a part of and wanted to give me chance to share it with our listeners. Jorge, along with his family (and one superhero Mom) runs The Demoya Foundation. A non-profit that helps give young adults with developmental disabilities employment while making sure both the employee and the employer are fully supported. It's a bold and creative endeavor that we hope becomes adapted elsewhere! Check out their upcoming Virtual Gala on September 10th for a perfect opportunity to support them and listen now to hear all about it!
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Hey everyone. Welcome back today. We're talking with Jorge Demauria from the muddle Moya foundation. I met Jorge at the beginning of our podcast adventures and he was one of the first resources we connected with. It is an amazing resource bringing jobs to our community and we can't wait to see what kind of impact they have.
[00:01:19] Hey, Demauria from the Demauria foundation. Thanks for joining us. Thank you so much for having me. So we'll get right into it. Jorge, tell us a little bit about your personal story and how you're connected to the disability community. Oh, definitely. So, um, for starters, my name is hothead Moya and I'm 13 six wait.
[00:01:39] Yes. Yeah. 36 years old. I got to remember that. Uh, I have three kids that are six, five and two, uh, happily married. And I have a huge family Cuban family through and through. I have a younger brother. A younger brother is six years younger than me. He's 30 and he has a developmental disability that is. Kind of like a mix, not even psychiatrists could even really figure it out.
[00:02:06] It's a mix of many different things. Um, but basically it's a developmental disability. Um, slightly, our autism, slightly behavioral, slightly mental disability. Uh, and I've been dealing with my whole life. I never really knew as a kid growing up. I just wanted a little brother. I just want a little brother.
[00:02:28] I was six, seven years old. I was like, man, when, when am I going to get a little brother? I get a little brother. And I remember a particular story that my mom tells me all the time, which is around when he was like three or four. And we know, and my mom noticed there was a little bit of a difference with, with him.
[00:02:46] She, I go with mom, I asked for a little brother, but. You know, I didn't know I was going to get a brother like that. I think we all said that when we got a little brother though, you know, when that auto out of nowhere would hit me over the head with a baseball bat. Cause he, you know, felt like it. I feel like it was the other way.
[00:03:08] I was hitting my little brother over the head with a baseball bat because I was over having a little brother, you know, but, um, That's how I'm connected to the disability disability community. Um, my younger brother has special needs and you know, my family has been super supportive. My mom has been somebody that you, we gotta get on the show.
[00:03:31] Eventually I will eventually talk her into doing a podcast because she has been a self advocate parent. That I've watched and learned from now that I'm a parent from the get-go, there was no program that she would not push through in the public school system, uh, all the way to college, or she even created a college system than a college program for young adults with developmental disabilities that didn't exist.
[00:04:00] And it was over at Florida international university. Now they have 50 to 60 young adults every year going through the program. Wow. She's going above and beyond. Yeah. She would always go above and beyond. Uh, and that's kind of how it started was through my brother's own life journey. He went to college, was able to get a certificate and, and, um, You know, for college credit kind of thing.
[00:04:28] Uh, not a college degree, but an inclusion certificate. And then after that we go, well, Now what he's graduated college, right. What the heck do we do now? You know, and, uh, we were lucky enough to be able to have a job for him. You know, he was able to go work with my dad who has a construction company. And so we knew that he was going to be okay.
[00:04:52] But then what about the 80% of, you know, young adults out there that are unemployed? Right going forward. And it was a bunch of his friends that he went through the college program with, and they all came out of the college program, just going back home to play video games and not doing anything. Right.
[00:05:11] Uh, so that's kind of where the Des Moines foundation program, you know, was born. Well, that's the thing that's tough. Like they come from. For, especially for someone like your brother who you're, your mom's pushing and he's getting all of these opportunities putting right in front of him. So there's all of this going forward and you're looking in front of you.
[00:05:32] And then for that to just end for some of these youths where it's all of a sudden now what, now I'm just going to go home, sit in my parents' house and have nothing to do. That's the opposite of what we're really trying in all of society right now. So why do that here? Like that's insane. Just doesn't make any sense when there's lots of opportunity out there.
[00:05:52] Let's find a way to make it happen. And, and our family is lucky. I mean, we co I come from a Cuban family. We came here. Um, my parents came here, you know, grandparents, uh, after Castro took power, we migrated from Cuba to Miami. Uh, my grandmother got a degree as a pharmacist at Florida, a and M as one of the Cuban ladies, I was in an all black college.
[00:06:17] So. My family from the get-go has always worked really hard and gotten an education and, you know, figured out how to do well here in the United States, as, as immigrants. And then after that, You know, we were able to build something that, you know, our kids could rely on. Right. Uh, and my brother was able to rely on it.
[00:06:39] He does very well. Um, over as a construction management, you know, he helps run one of the compounds. He takes notes of all the delivery trucks coming in and out. Um, but he still struggles, you know, and he has his struggles with his temper, with his writing and his reading. And. Luckily, we've been able to DAP to certain programs that were available, but not all the parents are aware of these programs.
[00:07:08] Right? That's the most part. They don't even know that vocational rehab exists or that there's OJT, that there's on the job training where you could get paid to do that, even if it's just a work experience. And they're like, well now, you know, I'm just trying to figure out what to do and hope they get the enough benefits, but right.
[00:07:29] That that's, that can only take you so far and it's so limiting, right. And that doesn't leave for a full, you know, as much independence is independence as possible and, you know, they'll need that constant support. And these are huge things. When you talk about like, you know, stretching from financial burden to, um, just.
[00:07:48] Independent, you know, being deprived of that. It's that's yeah, those are huge. No, a thousand percent men and, and some of these families, they come from a different background where they even rely on the benefits of their kids to pay rent. Right. You know, and that's supposed to be for them for their future and to make sure that they're taken care of, uh, and that's not healthy at all either when, you know, you have a one particular young adult in our program, um, his brother keeps asking him for money and I swear, you know, I, as a brother, my son I'm like, dude, stop it.
[00:08:26] You want to protect them? Because I feel like for some of these individuals. They don't feel like they don't know enough to say no or how to manage the money or how to handle the situations or any of that. And I can imagine, like, you know, when you're just getting benefits from the state, I mean, I know at one point we were there even in the beginning days, it's so limiting.
[00:08:51] So I can imagine as an independent adult. You're you're, you're stuck between a rock and a hard place. If that's what you're living off of, you can't really go any further. You you're, you can't buy a house on that. You can't, you can't better your future. And so that is where that stigma of, if you have a special needs or a disability.
[00:09:11] Then you're worthless, like worth less than someone else because you're literally have less than, and so you're looked at that way when instead, if they're given these opportunities and. Every, and they have all of these extra things to learn on the job training and all of these things. And they're getting all these extra assets then now they don't need that.
[00:09:36] And there's no one that's going to be dependent on them. They're now they can say, I've got this. I'm not dependent on anyone else. I can do this on my own. Yeah, right. That felt good. That kind of got cut off after college. Cause then all those, all that support system just goes away and that's really where the Des Moines foundation kind of came about, was providing a full service support.
[00:09:59] For young adults trying to get out there in the work place and, you know, better themselves and be a part of the community and gain confidence to the point where we've had a marriage proposal. This year of one of our young adults had enough confidence to propose to five or six of our young adults going out and getting their driver's license.
[00:10:22] And are now delivery drivers for a particular company. That's, uh, something that they never thought in a million years, that they would, you know, reach that kind of confidence. I mean, And to just imagine, like, I think, you know, like you said, like a marriage proposal that comes with so much to, for a future, you know, when you, when you think even for any adult, when you think, Oh, I can get married, Oh, now I can have kids.
[00:10:45] I can start this future with somebody. I can start a cause, start a family with somebody you think about your future, that way for anybody, any young adult, you think that way about your future. So when you already have. You know, maybe the odds stacked against you from society. I can't imagine what possibilities that opens for you when your confidence kind of grows that way.
[00:11:04] It's pretty exciting. That's pretty awesome. A lot of fun. How long has the Deloitte foundation been in place? So the divorce, the Memorial foundation, I started in 2015. That's when we first started it and it really just became like, all right. Let's gather a bunch of our friends at our house and see if we can even put this thing together.
[00:11:27] Is this even possible? Um, you know, we knew that my brother, Alex, he was going to be fine. He was going to be good, but he had a huge group of friends that were all looking for jobs. And the ultimate thing is they didn't want to just be a bag boy. At a grocery store. Right. You know, although that's a great program, you know, and, and some can do it, but they want more, you know, they, they want more and we wanted to give that kind of an opportunity whether where they can push themselves, basically, um, So our mission has always been to create employment opportunities for the young adults.
[00:12:05] And the way we do that is a different kind of model than a bus buddies or other job training programs, because we come in and we are a HR service to the company itself. That's going to hire. Okay. So we approach it as a partnership with a particular company. We come in, we ask them what their needs are and we say, okay, let's job CARF.
[00:12:31] A position that would suit your needs. And then we go into our bullpen of young adults and we do a job assessment and a skills assessment for that list of, uh, different young adults. And we say, okay, this particular job, it needs somebody that is bilingual strong in math and loves dogs. You know, and we go through our list and we find somebody's skills that match that position.
[00:12:58] Nice. Um, so right now we have an in just about five years, uh, we have 50 employer partners, so 50 companies and we have over 35 young adults employed. That's awesome. So, I mean, that's awesome too, that you have so many partners that are willing. That means you. There are so many opportunities. I mean, so it's almost like you need more individuals to be like, come on in and let's go, we've got all these partners.
[00:13:28] Ironically, the, the differences is that right now, with this year that we've had, we're actually trying to get more employer partners because we had 20 young adults. I got let go because of COVID and then, or for load or whatever. And then we also have 30 to 40 that are still in the bullpen waiting. So we have 30 plus.
[00:13:53] With jobs and we have 35 plus on the last I checked it, might've be up to 50 now waiting. Got it. Um, and that are ready to go, but we do vet all of our young adults. We, we talk to their families. We make sure they're on board with the mission. You know that they know that they can't just show up at their kid's job and say, but he needs his lunch.
[00:14:15] Right. You know, as much as we want to be that mom and dad and make sure that our kids are okay, we got to go, let them go a little bit and you know, yeah. Well you need that proper support system in the right way. You're probably training them at the same time. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. You're you you're training the parents as well, you know, and, uh, you have to get them on board.
[00:14:39] So, you know, we do a full vetting system of all the families. Um, and this year has been interesting, um, to say the least with everything going on, we decided to step away, take a little bit of a step back. And what we ended up doing is launching an entire virtual school. I was just going to ask yeah. How you're looking at virtual options.
[00:15:00] Yeah. Yeah. So we have, what's called the DMF stay connected and the DMF Academy, which is a cohort class with, on the job training, such as email etiquette, driving school, um, yoga classes for, you know, health and fitness. And they are required to take these classes if you don't want to be a part of the program, because it's all about bettering themselves in their job skills to make them even better at whatever job they get, whatever job they do now with this, you know, with, with COVID.
[00:15:35] I mean, it seems like it's going to stick for awhile. Um, it looks like from what I can tell, especially around here, A lot of employers are looking at work at home options and virtual working options. Are you guys looking at transitioning to kind of training in that way, like teaching, you know, on the job type training, that would be more of a virtual.
[00:15:57] Oh, absolutely. So one of the benefits to the Des Moines foundation versus other services is that we have five job coaches that are full-time and they are available to our young adults. Um, so they help them with virtual training, with job training, with everything. And if they're employed at a particular position, if that company says, listen, we need to go virtual.
[00:16:24] Our job coach will help them through the transition program to going virtual that's perfect. Um, we are able to, we were lucky enough to get a grant not too long ago for technology and we're able to supply some I, uh, tablets to the young adults so they can actually get on zoom, you know, and they can get on Google classroom.
[00:16:44] They can do their classes with us and they can do zoom meetings with. The companies that they're with or whatever they need to do. I think that's perfect. Two when it comes to your partners, because there's no intimidation there of, Oh, well, well we take someone on and then we'll have to furlough them or let them go because we won't be able to keep them because they're not going to match our needs once, you know, or with all of the stuff that's been happening.
[00:17:08] It's like, there's no, there's no concern there. No, no. We want to erase that concern for the employer partners. We, we kind of what my mom says is we sneak in the back door when it comes to that, because all of a sudden the company that is going to do the hiring goes, wait a minute, your job coach stays with us for a year.
[00:17:28] Yeah. Like they come every day and, you know, uh, or at least once a week for a year, like most programs, they placed somebody in for three months. And then by gone, they're just no longer available. Listen for, I mean, I've worked in management of retail. I've worked on and I can tell you, like I worked in grocery retail for a long time and.
[00:17:51] Three months is not barely. I mean, they pop in for 30 seconds once or twice in those three months with a checklist on a board. And they're like, yup. Yup. Looks great. Okay, bye. There's no opportunity for a conversation. There's not really any training and it's not fair to the employee as well. You know, they're not getting any feedback or communication and it ends up, you know, and at some point I can tell you how many times at some point there was.
[00:18:20] Either we, the employer just goes, well, whatever they're doing, what they're doing, and that's not fair to the employee either. No, no, not at all. Especially if, if you want them to have some sort of growth and, and you know, experience, and we just recently did a, a presentation for another employer partner and, you know, he was really excited.
[00:18:41] He was on board, uh, which was great. We're super excited. And he was like, well, how many are you going to bring in? And. I was like, Oh, just one, like one at a time, we're going to ease this person in. And then if you're ready, then we'll talk about more, you know, and most of the people that he was hiring are college students that were coming in and they would do the job for a year.
[00:19:03] And then they would, you know, they would leave. They would further their education or they'd get a job in something else. Uh, and we told him that. The job that you're providing here is a career for this young adult. Like they see this as a trade craft to be able to work in your store and learn every little ins and outs of your store.
[00:19:28] They're not going to want to leave after this. Well, I'm going to want to learn everything about it, and they're going to take pride with that. You know, it's like, and yeah, it's a quote unquote college career kid job, but for our community, it's a career. And do you know many times like as an employer and then like, I'll sit in interviews with interviewees and sometimes it's so hard not to go.
[00:19:54] This person's going to leave in a year or two. And you're the, the cost as an employer of retraining, or it's a lot of extra to go through all of that, to think this person is going to be valuable for only a year or two a year or two is not that long. It seems like a long time, but when you're, when it's a business, it's, it's a blink of an eye.
[00:20:15] So if you could have someone who's, who's really gonna value their, their position and put a hundred percent into it. And it's a career for them. You've saved you if you're just looking at it, fiscally you're saving right there. Like that's, if that's all they care about is the fiscal portion of it then right there.
[00:20:34] It's for sure. Right? Oh yeah, definitely. But it's definitely, yeah. For your heart at alone, it should be worth it. And what you're doing for the world, it's definitely making a difference. No, thank you. I mean, my, I know my mom would love to hear that. Oh, I mean, he's been working in it. I mean, she has a master's degree in special education.
[00:20:54] She went back to school after being a nurse for who knows how many years. Um, because of my brother because of the difficulties and the hurdles, and every state has different laws and different things going on. And we're down in Florida and Florida is not easy when it comes to this. Um, and mind you, the special Olympics is a huge draw here in Florida, and they're already talking about cutting it.
[00:21:22] And, you know, we have, I think a bunch of our athletes that are a part of the program are also in special Olympics. Um, and hopefully we can get that back. Yeah. So now speaking of that, like how do you get your funding? Where are you getting that from? Well, um, our funding comes mainly from two big events that we do that we hold.
[00:21:44] Uh, we have our annual gala fundraiser, which is the gathering of the heart's fundraiser, um, where that's one of our main draws. Um, and then another one is called the Miami corporate games, which is an outdoor team building activity. And it's kind of like a contest between different companies. They each get paired up with a young adult and they do team building exercises and whoever gets the most points at the end of it wins a big old trophy.
[00:22:12] Oh, great idea. So, and it's, it's really funny. It's a lot of fun. Um, The relationships we've made with many of these companies are forever lasting. They love working with us. They love donating to the cause. They love having the young adult joined their team. They all say it's like a morale builder. Uh, you know, that.
[00:22:34] Every law firm, just laws. Cause they have to be so serious all the time. And then our guy comes in and he's cracking jokes while he's filing he's so he's getting his job done, but you know, he's yeah. Levity and positivity to the office. Uh, so. You know, we're, we're lucky in that sense. So those are our two main fundraisers that we do.
[00:22:56] Um, and then relying on grants and VR, right. And government funded programs. And we, we squeeze every little bit that we can out of anything. We, we don't really have a big donor or a big sponsor, or we're not even on the list in terms of government funding that they give out to like best buddies and stuff.
[00:23:19] We're not even on that radar. But somehow we've been able, we have a staff, um, That you know is phenomenal. We have a five job coaches, a director of employment. Uh, my mother and myself that are not on salary. We do this because we want to, um, and the board that is also not paid, like are all of our board members.
[00:23:46] Are complete, they do this because they want to legal counsel me luckily happens to be my cousin. So if I ever get in trouble, I can call him. So that's part of having a big family. That is true. Yes. That's where we're really lucky. I mean, how my wedding, when I got married nine. Nine years ago. Hopefully my wife doesn't kill me if I'm wrong.
[00:24:07] Um, I was like 365 something people. And I think 250 was my side of the, Oh my goodness. We had, we had a party of three, me, Eddie and our daughter Annabella when she was an infant. That was our whole wedding party. But then with them, Oh my goodness. We did a renewal of vows and she didn't have any idea. I surprised her with it.
[00:24:31] It was great. It was amazing. I'm a great husband. He has a great HomeStore. So it's cleaned. It's this nasal one big surprise tells it forever. Oh my gosh. There's way more. So, um, where are you guys exactly located? Uh, so we're are, uh, actually located in Miami, Florida. Nice. And so how large, like, yeah, like what's your research for the Demauria foundation?
[00:24:55] How far do you okay. Currently our reach, um, it goes all the way up to Pembroke Pines. We have one employee partner that is heading up to Benbrook Pines, Florida. So that is our reach. Luckily one of our job coaches also lives up there. She's a little bit further North. So that helps or like, well, I guess.
[00:25:16] You too, we're going to pair you two up real quick, cause he's up in Pembroke Pines. Um, so yeah, our reach is all of Miami Broward all the way up to about Pembroke Pines. Um, and I mean, Miami is huge. So there is plenty of areas that we have not covered, right. And there are plenty of, um, young adults from the developmental disabilities community that have no clue even exists.
[00:25:43] Yeah. Oh, for sure. I'm sure. So now how can other communities, I mean, this is such an amazing concept. Oh, that was the thing. Is it down? Do you find them full-time employment? Part-time employment both. Okay. So that is a great question because we actually start at part-time at 20 hours a week, uh, really to just get them acclimated, get them started, but our goal has always been full-time beneficial employment.
[00:26:12] Nice. That's awesome. Okay. So we're talking about health benefits, dental, you know, whatever the company has. They are there. It's not a program like on the job training or work experience. Right. We can start that way in terms of. Coming in that back door, but the end goal is always a 40 hour a week, a career time with benefits.
[00:26:36] And you're up front with the companies. When you say, like, you're saying, this is our end goal. Yeah. I like that. So they know what they know what they're getting into. Yeah. We tell them exactly what they're getting into and what really keeps them at ease is that they know that. They have our support there's no.
[00:26:55] Well, okay. So you're going to put this young adult here and then, you know, what, if we need to help them with a new task, you know, let's say he's doing really well. He or she is doing really well and we want to help them and we need them to be a cashier now, you know, not just a inventory. Well, what happens next?
[00:27:13] Our job coach comes in assesses a situation. Uh, deals with any kind of accommodations that are necessary, whips out a huge binder that has all the instructions they need and adds to it. Um, if they need it by pictures or by, you know, bullet points, whatever. Um, So that's really what it comes into. And if there's an issue, we have every service that you can think of.
[00:27:38] One of our job coaches, it has a master's in mental health and wellness. And so if they're struggling with stress, anxiety, gro boy issues, you know, and they come to work a little depressed. I mean, I've done it before too. You know, sometimes you need somebody to talk to, well, guess what we have that. Oh, this is awesome.
[00:28:00] I mean, it's awesome. I can't tell you how many times I've seen it both ways. I've seen it with the, on the job training groups where it's just, it just doesn't seem to work just quite right. Seen it where I've worked for companies that have hired people in a special needs or disabilities community. And they, it fails them because.
[00:28:23] There is no support from the employer because the employer doesn't have support or know the right playbook. They just don't know how to accommodate the individual. And so, and even myself, you know, w being as community working in this community here and there, I, you know, even as a manager, I can't, I can't play the cyst.
[00:28:43] I'm like, you know, I'm not the owner of a company, not the owner of a bus. I can't, I can only do so much as a manager to support. I don't, if I don't have those key elements, I can't support an individual as a manager. I think it's awesome that, you know, to know that there's that support system for company it's right there.
[00:29:02] It's all right there for you. There's no guesswork. You don't have to worry about anything. You don't have to create it for your, especially if you're a smaller company. There's no worry. It's all right there for you. There's no investment. Yeah. And, and we definitely, um, take, I don't know if you guys ever been to like Austin, Texas, or Asheville.
[00:29:21] They love local. And even though Miami has a lot of chains, restaurants are the focus for us as we always go local companies. Yeah. Because we feel like they can connect with us a little bit more, um, you know, mom and pop type shops and they not only do they connect with us a little bit more, but then they're creating that family environment and that family dynamic at their workplace, right.
[00:29:46] That we feel that just makes a better connection than having to deal with corporate. But, you know, w we also still go for corporate because they run stuff around here and the opportunities there are, they usually carry these there. We were able to employ a young adult at a, at a hospital at the main hospital here, Baptist hospital.
[00:30:05] That's awesome. He loves it and he loves it so well, like you said, Eddie, the benefits are going to be there. And the availability for future careers is going to be a lot more, a lot, much more longterm for, at some of these larger places. For sure. Right. How would other community hospital, did you say Baptist hospital?
[00:30:22] It's um, down in Miami, Florida, like you would know, we've never been to Florida, Miami, Orlando,
[00:30:33] and he's like never been to Miami. I was like, what's the major city I went to. Totally not allowed in Florida. Yeah. You've been to Orlando. Um, Oh, that's that was in. Side note. Okay. This is not a topic for now. You're out of here.
[00:30:56] I just kinda edit when I called her the wrong name. Listen, this editing is taking forever. I have to go grocery shopping. Yeah, that's why you should go to Instacart or right now they connect you with a personal shopper in your local area to deliver groceries from your favorite stores. Instacart delivers groceries in as fast as one hour.
[00:31:21] Hey listeners. By following the link in our show notes, you help support our show. By doing this Instacart is offering our listeners free delivery on your first order. Over $35.
[00:31:37] Oh, my goodness. Yeah. Anyways, moving on. How can other communities do this? Same thing? I mean, it's, it's a great concept. How can they implement it in their community? Well, it's, it's difficult to implement in other communities because I mean, we've built this whole system. It's a, it's a completely new model.
[00:31:56] Um, and so other communities, what I suggest the most is to start, you know, use this model as an example, to start self-advocating for yourself and lean on it. You know, for information, if you go to our website, you know, uh, the de Moines foundation.com, you there's so many resources there that you can start questioning in your own community and be like, okay, why is this resource?
[00:32:24] And that resource not there, you know? Cause we make sure to lay it out. As much as possible for everybody to tap into those government resources, whether it's vocational rehab or on the job training or work experiences, and make sure that your young adults are getting paid to do what they're doing.
[00:32:43] Right. You know, don't, don't get it. Caught up in a coffee. This is just an example, but a coffee shop that doesn't pay their employees, but they just put it as work experience. Yeah. Like a training program. Yeah. So our training program, no, where where's the payment going through. Um, and there are ways we've had an interesting year, like I've mentioned going virtually and.
[00:33:07] Our YouTube channel, which we launched this year has all kinds of tutorials that anybody from any community can watch and learn from. And they can use those tutorials and reach out to us and be a part of the stay connected Academy. You know, DMF Academy where they can take classes with our job coach is and learn email etiquette, learn, um, social skills.
[00:33:33] Uh, we're gonna launch a civics class, like a citizenship class, understanding your rights, you know, your right to vote your right, to assemble your rights and just understanding more things. And when you apply that kind of confidence, Uh, available to her, the young adults, then they can go and do things more because they don't think they have that kind of opportunity.
[00:33:55] They, they automatically go, I have to send a resume and an email. I can do it, but it made, it makes me feel anxious. It makes me feel well, guess what we ever. Email etiquette class that can kind of walk you through that is taught by one of our job coaches who has the experience with the developmental disabilities community can talk to you to it, where you feel comfortable doing that.
[00:34:20] And you can maybe send your resume to a local grocery store or a movie theater or. You know, if you have a Photoshop skills, you know, there's other options, you know, virtually where you could do something with that. Right. Um, so our YouTube channel and our Academy is really how we can reach other communities, uh, and how they can reach out to us.
[00:34:44] Well, I think that's amazing too, because it, you know, anything, you hit on a good point there. Like when, when someone is. Involved in something and they're learning and they're, they're becoming more X what's the word like, um, empowered word and engaged. That's how change happens at that level. I mean, me and you and Eddie, we can all advocate out all day long till we're blue in the face, and that is going to help make change.
[00:35:12] But real change is going to come when, when. When the peop quote, unquote, the people are empowered. Like, you know what I say, people listen to, but when my son talks, someone listens and I think that's what really, you know, that's when you see in history changes happen. It's not, you know, the little change has happened from us, but the big changes happen when someone's empowered.
[00:35:36] And you know, they're going to get the empowerment from foundations like your guys's. And I think that's really huge. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I completely agree. And it's been kind of one of those years where you just see that in our young adults, like I mentioned now, they're driving, you know, never before did they think about getting a license?
[00:35:57] Um, you know, my, my younger brother is a perfect example. He's now developed more confidence in terms of speaking. You know, in public and about certain things to the point that him and my mom went to Tallahassee and spoke to her Congress. Awesome. To the state. Yeah. About some of these programs and being like, listen, you guys need to start backing this one.
[00:36:21] Oh, for sure. You know, you need to start looking at this one because our, because of what our program does and not just. What it does, but it can be sustainable and we're putting people to work, which is always a big. Topic on the Hill. So as they say exactly, they're like, Oh, we don't do any kind of charity or whatever.
[00:36:44] No, no. We're putting people to work. Right. And that's what I hate when they look at it's not charity. And that's what it is since you have an able body that can do that, can do tasks. W w I don't understand why you just can't match it up. Well, you also want to, like, you hear all the time, like we, you know, we want to take less money out of.
[00:37:02] SSI or SSD. I want to take less money out of unemployment. It's like, this is how you can help do that. If you, if that, if again, if it's all about the fiscal numbers, which I feel like that's what it always is, comes down to taxes. It comes down to fiscal. That's what always speaks to people when it probably shouldn't be the first thing everyone talks about, but it is.
[00:37:20] Especially with politicians, especially with business, you know? So then let's, then that's what you go at. Yeah. Go with the juggler, you know, talk about the numbers cause that's, what's going to work and that's what they're going to hear. It. There's nothing better than splint when you hear that and you see it on the negative end of.
[00:37:36] What you're trying to do. And then we are, I mean, my mom, what she's done is a phenomenal job because she can attack you from those numbers. And you're like, wait, hold on a second. You, if you want to talk strictly numbers, let's talk strictly numbers. Yeah. You know, not only are you getting a young adult, that's not going to leave after a few years, they're going to want to stay there.
[00:37:59] That helps. Oh, by the way, in terms of training, you don't have to spend money on training because we do that. Right. And you don't have to spend money on a human resources, uh, company to outsource and vet, whoever we do that, they're going to have health insurance. That's going to take it out of the state.
[00:38:16] I, every everything comes full circle. I think it's amazing. I mean, it's super pumped for you guys. I hope that other communities you start to, we start to see foundations like this kind of pop up. I hope that States get involved and, you know, and things like this start getting created on the state level because that's where it really should.
[00:38:34] B, maybe it should be on the state level where, you know, instead of just, Oh, everyone gets on Medicaid or something, it's no, everyone can get involved in something like this. And that's how we start creating things. There's no reason why this can't happen on a state level, definitely funding. If you want something to get better finance, what it comes down to the money's there, it just needs to be allocated to the right places.
[00:38:56] And it's insane the way that. Is being allocated. I'm not to call our congressmen mean, that's what it takes. I mean, it really honestly, that's what it takes, but it sounds like your mom is like a huge part, like a huge factor. Well, cause like, cause you know, um, You were saying like, how can we help? And he was like, well, it's you have to lay the foundation in the community first.
[00:39:19] And I'm sure that's what your mother went out around doing was like, why don't you do this from when your brother was at a young age. So always advocating in your brother's behalf and, you know, fighting, which is insane, the way mothers fight for their children. Like, I mean, I honestly like, I'll be like, Honest with myself.
[00:39:39] I can never imagine myself fighting like that. Like for, for my kids, the way that, not the way that you do and not the way that like other mothers do. It's, it's insane. I think it's like a genetic thing. Right. But you're absolutely right. Eddie and I feel you a hundred percent, if I could get paid to just be a dad, I do that.
[00:39:56] But, uh, you know, I just be telling dad jokes and teaching them how to cuss. Right. That's actually what he does
[00:40:07] value to that. They would just be like, cool to see my two year old, say, you know, drop an F bomb, but you know, that's not great. That's actually exactly what Eddie's life is. But again, like your mom, I mean, I'm sure like she's just going around. In that community and your community and the surrounding communities, and be like, you need to do this, you need to do this.
[00:40:28] And by having that, by having those employers already hear from somebody and then be like, you know what. And then having her come back and be like, this is what we set up. So we made it easier for you. I took all of the information that I'm sure she's heard from people be like, the only reason we can't do it is because of so-and-so.
[00:40:44] She was like, okay, write that down. And that, because it seems like every question that we have, you guys have already had an answer because. It's not that I could imagine what, what she wants to hear from employers as far as reasons why they can't accept or why they don't have an opening or something, that's going to help out.
[00:41:00] Somebody that, you know, has a disability that is still perfectly capable of providing these tasks. So it's just. You know, uh, I really personally wish your mother was on this podcast. I can tell her, like, she's gotta be like the most tenacious woman out there. Well, she's just, she is a very tenacious mother and that's just awesome.
[00:41:23] Cause look it, yeah. Call her the most tenacious that's okay. Well, cause there's hurting. That's the is like, honestly, like there's nothing stronger than a mom and they talk about like moms lifting up cars and stuff, but here's just another example. She didn't lift up a car, but she lifted up like a whole community.
[00:41:40] Yeah, no. And, and, uh, ironically, we, there are the unsung heroes in this and you know, my dad is a part of that because when it came down to it, my mom, my mom just. Gave him this idea. And he was so damn confused that he just goes, listen, I don't know what you got going on here, but I'm not going to stop you.
[00:42:00] Yeah, here's my Rolodex. Cause my dad is the one that has the context. Right. Um, my dad's stories is amazing as well in terms of that. Because it also helped lay the foundation coming from Cuba with his five brothers and his dad and all going to college, um, with kids and finding a way to get a civil engineering degree, building a company from the ground up, having it fall multiple times and kept going, um, went bankrupt multiple, multiple times, but that never stopped him.
[00:42:35] He kept moving forward and made all these contexts in. You know, the construction world and our first five employer partners were all different context from the construction world. That's awesome. And it literally just, my mom had this idea and my dad just said, here's my room. Yeah. Who you need to call?
[00:42:56] Well, also knowing like, I think the biggest thing that hasn't been said, but I think is a big deal is not putting any limits on your brother at all and saying, listen, I know he can, you know, like, I'm sure your father had a huge part in that and saying, yeah, we'll have him come work with me. Let's see what he, you know, he can, I know he can do this.
[00:43:17] I mean, it's not, he's not just, you know, work, um, from what it sounds like from what you're saying, he's not just. Cleaning up after everyone in the shop at the end of the day, it sounds like he's got a pivotal role in, in the business. And as a career there, and that I think is probably also a Testament to your father, his relationship with him, and as his quote unquote employer, and that sets the tone for who your dad works.
[00:43:44] You know, the other, the first five companies that your dad worked with, where he said, listen, it's working. Was this how it's working? You can do it too. I think that probably says a lot about your dad too. And how open he was to it. Yeah, it definitely does. And it also says a lot about just our family in general, that I've always kind of like banded together when it comes to that.
[00:44:03] Um, and my brother himself is just going to say, give your brother a Pat on the back. It's so hard to is the vice president of the foundation.
[00:44:16] And, you know, he, he tells it like it is. And he said, you know, he is on the computer every day, even though he's working at the construction site, uh, um, making sure that all the young adults get logged on to their classes and, you know, Well, let's say adding those classes helps put together, um, the power up sessions, which are a community of the young adults come together and they discuss what's going on in their jobs and how they're dealing with different things, um, that we even do presentations on how to go about dating, how to go about, uh, dealing with social media, privacy.
[00:44:54] How do you. You know, battle this, how do you battle depression, anxiety. So we have those power ups and he's a part of that as well. Um, he's a tenacious dude. He always has been, I mean, with zero filter that's okay. I like that better. I'd say I'm pretty sure he has more of a social life than I do at this point.
[00:45:21] Well, I don't think any of us have much of a social life. I know it's so good for him. Yeah, exactly. He's still a, he's still getting people together to watch the heat game, you know, outside, whether it's basketball, football, he's got something going on. We need to get out of this house. So tell us to just kind of shift gears a little bit.
[00:45:43] You have a virtual gala coming up on October 10th. Tell us a little bit about that. Absolutely. So our virtual gala is really, we knew that this year was going to be tough. We had our live annual gala. We postponed it, we hoped for the best, but then at one point we just had to cancel it and shift it to next year.
[00:46:04] And we, we didn't want to disappoint our sponsors and our donors that had already donated funds to that gala. You know, advertising dollars and all that. And we just said to ourselves, okay, what can we do? Right. How can you pivot? What can, what can we do to at least honor them and, you know, shore support and all that.
[00:46:25] So we decided to put this whole thing together from our crew, our creative director, she literally just. Had this idea and ran with it. Um, and she came up with this phenomenal idea of doing a virtual gala saying together we are resilient. Gala is called resilient. Um, and it's basically what we're going to do is on October 10th at 7:00 PM, we're going to go live on Facebook and on YouTube, they show.
[00:46:56] We have a stage and we have entertainment and we have our young adults paired up with our job coaches and there'll be on camera saying, Hey, we have X amount of, uh, options for our silent auction. Here are the things that were donated and you can bid. By clicking or texting to this number and you can bid on a silent auction item.
[00:47:21] You can donate. So we'll have some entertainment, we'll have some interviews, a bunch of different videos packaged put together from our employer partners, um, that have sent in videos, showing their support. That's awesome. Oh, we're definitely going to be watching them. We gotta make sure we share that.
[00:47:39] Putting together as much of an end. We even have a few, a talent show. Like a little bit of a mini talent show, our young adults, um, we have a few, we have one that plays a clarinet and she's very good. Uh, we have a gentleman that he makes me laugh every time because he plays really well when he's by himself.
[00:48:00] And when his mom walks in the room and he gets super distracted. And then, so you just hear him stop all of a sudden he goes, mom, go outside. Oh, but he is phenomenal on the bongos. Wow. So, um, he'll be performing. I hope we'll tell his mom to stay out of the room. Yeah. She's going to stay out of, I am where we are.
[00:48:24] Should we don't have to definitely watch that. We'll tell everyone because I'm super excited to see that that sounds like a ton of fun. It's creative. Yeah, it's, uh, it's going to be a lot of fun. There'll be things that you can donate and things that you can bid on in terms of silent auction items from, you know, uh, different art pieces that have been created by, uh, some of our young adults and some art, local artists that have donated art pieces that you could bid on, uh, too.
[00:48:52] You know, I experienced at the zoo or a wine tasting or whatever it is whenever you're able to get back outside. That's awesome. So there's stuff for people that are local stuff that people for anyone that's not local, there's everything. That's awesome. There's a little bit of everything. Um, so it's going to be a fun thing is it'll be, you it'll be available on Facebook live.
[00:49:10] You can host a watch party online, you know, where you can share it to your Facebook group or to your podcast group or whoever you want to share it to. And just a fun night of entertainment. Um, you know, and within that we'll honor, our young adults that have shown us pure resiliency this year. Oh yeah.
[00:49:30] They even said with COVID going on, they put on their masks. They said, whenever you need me to do work-wise, I'm there. If you need to cut my hours, fine. If you need me to go virtual, the first thing they did was called their job coach. How can I do this? Right. The company needs me to work from home. I need help to make sure I'm good.
[00:49:50] Ready to work from home. I think that's huge when other people are like, Oh, That's all right. Like not interested in working. I mean, I know it's hard for us right now to find employees like when it, if you have people that are like, where can I go? I'm ready to work. That's huge. That's so awesome. Yeah. Yeah, no, it's been a, it's been huge and they've shown tremendous resiliency as well as our companies that we're partnered with.
[00:50:13] They've also shown tremendous resiliency. Um, some have, you know, had the. Let some of our young adults go, some said, Nope, we're not letting that person go. No way. Um, they're going to have to be furloughed, but we want to keep them. Yeah. We want to still keep them. Yeah. It speaks volumes or even one that it always drew me back and I get a little, I get a little choked up about it because they let go of certain people, but they did not let him, uh, well, you know, that's the thing, but that speaks to him as an employee.
[00:50:52] Yeah. He was one of like five chefs at a particular restaurant and they could only hold on to two and he was one of the two, I think that speaks. So that speaks volumes of the tray exactly. Of your program. You can ask it in an Alexa like that should be, that's the thing. It's, it's the appropriate person to stay in the job.
[00:51:10] So. Yeah. I would only hope that in the future, we're not looking at this as like, Oh, they made the no, no. That's that's actually is created for creating quality employees. There was no special treatment. It was just the two best for the job moving forward. Yeah. And you know, he was one of them, he worked his way up there.
[00:51:33] Yep. But you gave him that opportunity. You guys created an opportunity and training so that he had that and that that company had to a great one of two great employees that they could keep where maybe they would have only had one. So, or another one that maybe wouldn't have been like, they ha they have an opportunity now to have.
[00:51:50] This great employee that they maybe wouldn't have had. So I think that that right there is your poster for why the Demauria foundation is necessary and should be everywhere. I think that's, that's just awesome. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's going to be just one of many examples, obviously. Yes. Every employee.
[00:52:10] Um, so we ask all of our guests the same question. Have you had 30 seconds, but it really doesn't have to be 30 seconds. I don't know why we say that. Just to keep you from going for 10 minutes. If you could say, I feel like then people will go for like 20 minutes. Uh, she had 30 seconds, 60 seconds a minute and a half to speak to our community.
[00:52:28] What advice would you give them? Ooh. See, now that's different. I think I'm going to go personal a little bit, uh, just because, uh, I think it's important for our community, um, for the developmental disabilities community and, and also for siblings out there. Um, I am an older sibling that didn't understand too much of what was going on with my younger brother, but I knew that there was something off.
[00:52:58] Um, and. I was also the kid that was picked on for sitting at lunch with another kid. That was my age who had cerebral and in today's world, if you're an, a sibling or, you know, older or younger, step up say something and don't let any of the peer pressure around you bother you one bit. You're doing the right thing.
[00:53:26] I think that's great advice because, you know, I never understood why I was getting picked on for, you know, being his friend. Um, but I was, and I didn't even understand what was going on with my brother at that time. I was still young trying to figure it out, uh, and. You know, for siblings, it's a little bit different, you know, you, you push your younger or older sibling that, that has special needs and you still rag on them because dang it.
[00:53:56] They're your brother or sister and they piss you the hell off all the time. So. They piss you the hell off to the point where you chase them around the house, you slip on a sock and you make a hole in the wall. True story. It was my knee that went through the wall and you blame them. And you blame them after the fact.
[00:54:18] Yes. Um, well, it was his fault, you know, but I that's what I would tell to mainly the siblings out there that have to deal with this. You know, it's difficult and you can have that line where you can still have your life, but you can advocate for them on a different level than your parents, because you're going to expect more from them.
[00:54:42] That's a good point. Parents will always still have that extreme love and that heart where they go. No, no, no. It's okay. You know what? That's fine. That's fine. That's the best you got. That's fine. Be that yang to that yang where you say no, no, no, no, no. Screw that he can do that. She can do that. Yes. I know because when you weren't here and I was babysitting his little ass, he was able to do it.
[00:55:07] That's such a good point. We see that all the time with our daughter, like I will baby Eddy and just go, Oh, he can't do that. He can't do this. And then we'll come home from, you know, we'll go out to dinner and Annabel will be babysitting and she'll be like, he did all of that for himself while you were gone.
[00:55:22] And I'm like, Oh, I guess you can do these things, but she cause she doesn't because she's like, I don't want to do that. I don't want to do that for you. Like, she just doesn't want to do it for him. Well, why she's going to make him do it himself? Like she doesn't have any patients with them. Well, I do everything.
[00:55:40] I would either way I did everything for Annabella. That's just what I do. I do everything for Annabella. Cause she's your daughter, your son. There's a huge difference. That's why I don't do anything for it. Eddie I'll do anything for Annabella. Okay. Yeah. So grow up, Christian, where can we find you? The Deloitte foundation?
[00:56:03] Where can we find everybody for our listeners to find us. Um, so you can definitely reach out to us and contact us at the Moines foundation on all social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, um, at the Moines foundation, uh, you can check out everything that has to do with the gala. With the virtual gala.
[00:56:23] That's going to be on October firstname.lastname@example.org. Perfect. And we'll link it, all the information you need. And if you have a question, you know, it doesn't matter what state you're in. We have people that can guide you to, you know, the right programs and just sniff out what you need to, you know, sniff out when it comes to that email@example.com is an email that you can reach up any one of us at, um, And, you know, just please feel free to reach out and make sure to watch the virtual gala.
[00:57:01] Uh, we hope to bring awareness worldwide. What we have going on the YouTube tutorials. The Academy is available, um, all over for anyone buddy of any state and all over the nation. And the more employer partners that we can get. The more young adults that we can put to work. Um, so that's really our goal with the virtual gala is create as much awareness about the program as we can.
[00:57:29] Awesome wools link everything, um, for our listeners so that they can find all of those links in our show notes. And we'll make sure we put it all on our social media as well, so that they can access it. And we'll definitely. Make sure that we watch the gala gala LLC at the gala. No. Feel free to give us a shout out too.
[00:57:52] We're recording now. Good luck with the gala and we'll be watching and tuning in and donating. Uh, I know we were been trying to do this. Don't worry pod Fest. So I'm glad we were finally able to yeah, sounds perfect. Can't wait to turn it around. I'm excited. Definitely. Awesome. Thank you guys so much. Have a good night.
[00:58:18] Uh, Oh, recording. Well, thank you so much for listening. We really hope you enjoyed this episode as always, please make sure you share with a friend. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode, on our Facebook or Instagram on, at special about special. Thanks again. And we'll see you soon.