Joshua’s passion for helping is undeniable.
This year marks Community Living Toronto’s (CLTO) 75th anniversary, and to celebrate, we’ve asked people from across our communities to help us understand what 75 Years of Belonging means to them. This is Joshua’s story.
Hi everybody, my name is Joshua.
I’m 33 years old now, but I’ve been connected to the Community Living Toronto family for at least 15 years.
For Joshua, “belonging” is employment and ending bullying.
Want to know more about me? I play baseball in the special Olympics. I love sports and I love singing, and I’m in a choir with my mom. Anybody who knows me would also tell you that I am really good at origami. I have one brother and one sister and we’re Bajan (from Barbados). My parents are Barbadian and Canadian. I was born in Toronto, Canada after my mom and brother moved here. My dad is from New Brunswick, Canada. I am grateful for and inspired by my parents, some of the people I watch on YouTube, and everyone at CLTO who helps me achieve the things that I want to achieve.
My intellectual disability is Autism or Asperger’s syndrome, and that can make some things hard – like public speaking for example. But I am still good at it and I recently spoke at a big Community Living Ontario conference in Richmond Hill! At the conference, a group of us CLTO Influencers — all people who have a developmental disability and lots of abilities — spoke about how we want to create positive change in our communities. I want to raise awareness about what it’s like to live with autism, and about bullying.
“Being a part of Community Living Toronto is like having a second family.”
I am a part of CLTO’s “Youth 2 Work” program, where I’ve been employed as a mail carrier and at the Coffee Den. These jobs are fun, but for different reasons. I’m really good at math, so using the cash register at the Coffee Den is fun for me. I also love traveling around the city, so that makes being a mail carrier fun too. These programs are important to me and they are my source of income.
CLTO’s Youth 2 Work program offers assistance and support to youth with an intellectual disability who are preparing to leave the educational system. Our partnerships with local high schools and other community allies help give people the opportunity to find success in the workplace. Through the Youth 2 Work program, we help individuals make a successful transition from school to a rewarding, meaningful and productive life in the community.
Being a part of Community Living Toronto is like having a second family. They do so much for me. The team guides me and helps to mentor me. They have helped to find me work. So that’s pretty big.
“What do I think a better world looks like? No more bullying!”
We need to get rid of bullying. This is really important to me and something I want to raise awareness about. We need to end bullying in our community so there is no more violence!
Thank you for reading my story about why my community, my family, and CLTO all help me feel like I belong. Will you join me today and celebrate 75 Years of Belonging?
For 75 years, Community Living Toronto has been evolving, learning, and growing to support and include people with an intellectual disability. Together, let’s work toward 75 more Years of Belonging. Here is one way you can help today: Add your name below to show your support.
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