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Project Will provides adults with disabilities or behavioral challenges with skills to gain independence

Participants in the program volunteer in the community to learn job skills
Posted at 5:43 PM, Sep 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-25 13:57:06-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Every Tuesday at Chapel Rock Christian Church, Project Will members gather inside the Baby Boutique to volunteer.

"It's a win win. They're helping us... because if this space is organized, I can use it," Niccole Wilkes, Parent Life West Director said. "But then I'm helping them too by giving them a job."

Chapel Rock is just one of many places Project Will members in the L.I.N.K.S. program volunteer.

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L.I.N.K.S. stands for leadership independence neighborly knowledge and skills.

The alternative day program serves adults with intellectual disabilities and behavioral challenges.


"We want to provide a purposeful day for them. So when they come here, they have purpose. They're doing something, they're creating relationships, they're developing themselves," Kelly Majors, Project Will Executive Director said.

Johanna Laut started coming to Project Will in May.

"I love it so far. Not too bad," Laut said. "I made a lot of friends here."

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When members aren't out volunteering, they are working on job readiness skills in the clasroom.

"How to communicate with people... how to, you know, just how to carry yourself in a work environment," Christian Arnold said.

"I'm here just to find a great job. So then I can move on to just be happy and independent for myself," Robert Hubbard said.


Project Will is funded by the medicaid waiver. Some people are referred to the program through case managers or through their behavioral specialist, but anyone can sign up.

The program launched in 2019 under different leadership and then became its own non-profit organization in 2020. Now, leaders want to get the word out about who they are and what they do.

"We would love to see them all get jobs. There are some that probably never will, but we are teaching them and helping them strengthen their life skills," Majors said.

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As for Laut, she hopes her time and effort at Project Will pays off. She's volunteered at the Children's Museum for five years.

"I usher downstairs in the Lilly Theatre," Laut said.

She hopes the skills she's learning at Project Will help her land her a job at the museum in the future.

"It just gives me something to do while my parents are at work or at home and stuff. So I don't have to stay at home all day," Laut said.

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