UNCASVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) — Amanda Gregg, who now works in concessions at Mohegan Sun Casino, started out in 2012 as an usher.
When she first started there, the 30-year-old on the autism spectrum was quiet and nervous.
“Now I’m talking a lot with the guests and the employees, I’ve made a lot of friends with my co-workers,” she said.
“One thing about Amanda, if she puts her mind to something, she get after it,” Performance Improvement Manager Bill Donehey said, noting that the casino is committed to working with ASRC- Autism Services & Resources Connecticut – in employing those with developmental disabilities.
“18% of the population with disabilities is employed,” he said. “Only 18%. So, there’s a whole group of people that can be employable.”
“If somebody is out there questioning what resources there are, how do I get involved, go to the walk,” Lori Gregan, a volunteer with ASRC, said.
Mohegan Sun is one of the employers that will be handing out information at the upcoming Resource Fair and Employment Showcase at ASRC’s Walk for Autism.
It’s a chance for folks to come together, have fun and get information about finding meaningful employment.
“The whole goal is to make someone independent, right? When you raise anyone, it’s about making them independent, setting them free and being successful,” Gregan said.
“We have a place for everyone here,” Donehey said.
In addition to her work, Gregg also excels at coaching and practicing tae kwon do. In fact, she’s heading to an international competition in France soon.
With supports, she’s thriving and has advice for others on the spectrum, planning their futures.
“As the opportunities come, don’t let people tell you because you have this, you can’t do something because you can do whatever you want no matter how big or little it seems,” she said.
ASRC’s Walk for Autism is Sunday, May 21 at Quinnipiac University in North Haven.
ASRC hopes to raise $175,000. Part of that money will fund employment programs.