Gray came to Ramble on Pearl having some paid work experience and excellent skills. Immediately Gray’s job coach could tell that he was one of the most thoughtful, diligent, conscious apprentices that she had encountered.  However, Gray felt his confidence was his biggest obstacle to obtaining meaningful community employment. Gray was very nervous around his job coaches, coworkers and especially customers. Recognizing early on that confidence-building would be critical for Gray’s ability shine in community employment, we immediately went to work building that self-assuredness in him. Through the supportive Ramble environment, Gray learned to make autonomous decisions, trust his judgment, and perhaps most importantly, allowed his incredible personality and attributes to shine through, to customers and coworkers alike!

Gray demonstrated his growth again when it was time to look for jobs in the community. Although he was still nervous about this process, he approached it with an amazing attitude and confidence like his team had never seen. Not only did he rock his interview and get offered a position on the spot… after starting he immediately began to integrate into his new work culture. His job coach watched him very intentionally work to get to know his co-workers at Boulder Housing Partners. The clearest example of this was when Gray, not even a month after starting the new position, participated in a group costume event for Halloween! Gray and all his coworkers dressed up as a flight crew and attendants with Gray, a pilot, absolutely embodying the theme.

Gray’s journey has been a shining example of the personal and professional growth that Ramble on Pearl staff get to witness every day.

Jared started at Ramble not having any sense of what type of profession he would like to pursue. He had never had a job, and was unsure if he would enjoy working with clothing. However, Jared’s job coach soon recognized that he did wonderful work with the clothes in the store, as well as with coworkers and customers. Jared’s has an infectious sense of humor, which quickly made his coworkers and job coach giggle right alongside him. One day, while working on a glittery window display, Jared coughed and then said “I think I swallowed some glitter. I must be sparkling on the inside!”

When it was time for Jared to find employment in the community, he was very open-minded and explored many possibilities. But he realized that he really enjoyed working with fun clothes. Therefore, Jared and his job coach explored the possibility of a position at Shinesty, Inc, which produces the most fun and outlandish clothing available on the market. Jared interviewed for a fulfillment and distribution team position and was offered the job! Jared packs clothing orders and includes a handwritten, personalized note in each one of them. After a short time on the job, he is almost as quick in his tasks as his seasoned coworkers, and has grown quite fond of working with them. Now he prefers asking his coworkers questions rather than his job coach… and that kind of independent working is precisely the objective of the Apprenticeship Program at Ramble on Pearl!

June 2017 Introduction:

Matthew is currently a Master Apprentice at Ramble on Pearl and never fails to brighten up the day with his sense of humor and great outlook. Matt has demonstrated that he has an exceptional inclination for retail and customer service! Customers are consistently impressed with the exceptional level of service they have received from Matt, and he regularly gets comments that he has done a great job or that he was the best part of their shopping experience at Ramble! Matt has an amazing greeting to incoming customers that explains that Ramble on Pearl is a nonprofit store that teaches job skills to adults with developmental disabilities. Customers always respond so positively to Matt’s greeting, and it makes them more inclined to purchase at the store.  Matt is also an exceptional artist, and has done artwork for the chalkboard sign that sits outside the store to attract customers inside.

Matt getting some steaming done at Ramble

Matt getting some steaming done at Ramble

Matt has demonstrated his proficiency in all the tasks that Ramble on Pearl’s Apprenticeship Program wants individuals in the program to achieve. Therefore, he has graduated into the Job Development program, which means that Matt and his job coach are currently looking for independent community employment. Matt’s enjoyment and exceptional skill at customer service make him an ideal candidate for a retail position.  He is specifically interested in Target, Best Buy, or Toys R Us. Matt will undoubtedly proved to be an absolute asset to whatever team he ends up being a part of in community employment!

November 2018 Update:

Matt has now been a member of the stocking team at Target for over a year, and during that time his position and responsibilities greatly expanded! When the store experienced a fire this past summer and needed to completely restock the entire store due to water and smoke damage, Matt stepped up alongside his team and for a short period of time, worked mornings nearly every day of the week. As a result of this hard work, the store was quickly restocked and Matt was thanked for his dedicated team contribution.

Several times over the months, Matt has been recognized by his supervisor in front of his entire team as being vital to the department. We heard Matt was beaming ear to ear as his contribution has been met with applause and cheers. Matt is an incredible example of what an asset Ramble graduates are to community employers!

Zachary S apprentice

Within several weeks of his apprenticeship at Ramble on Pearl, Zachary demonstrated his incredible work ethic and desire for autonomy at work. Every day, Zachary would come in and demonstrate through his actions his desire and appreciation for employment. Zachary’s job coach was always able to trust that he was being thorough in all of his tasks and never cutting corners. Zachary quickly became a Master Apprentice and graduated from the program, then he and his job coach began looking for community employment. Zachary’s dream job was working at Target and that is the first place they applied. Zachary got an interview at Super Target of Superior and wore the Target uniform of a red polo and khakis to his interview for a cart attendant position.  He was offered the job the spot!

Zachary ready to go in his Target uniform!

Zachary has excelled in his position at Target. He comes in every day with a great attitude, prepared for his shift. Zachary’s supervisors have noted that Zachary never complains when other employees would about some of the physical demands of being a cart attendant. They also report that he has become efficient at his tasks and is a great example of the work ethic that Target values in its employees. Zachary has also developed great bonds with his his fellow employees. Zachary’s coworkers love seeing him in action and even report that he brightens their days! Zachary has been able to pick up additional shifts and responsibilities due to this work ethic and consistency. Target has ended up being a perfect fit for Zachary and his contribution is incredibly valued there. We’re proud of and excited for you, Zachary!

unnamedBryan has always had big dreams of being independent. Upon first entering the Apprenticeship Program at Ramble, Bryan told his job coach that he wants to gain independent employment because he wants to become self-sufficient and be able to support himself. Bryan excitedly explained that he has ambitions of becoming a chef. Being a chef would allow Bryan to do something that he would be passionate about while providing him a way to be more autonomous in his day-to-day life. Bryan eventually wants to have his own apartment, pay his own bills and have a family. Bryan came to Ramble on Pearl understanding that independent community employment will not only allow him to utilize his strengths in a way that makes him feel fulfilled and accomplished, but will also help him attain his other goals like financial self-sufficiency.

Bryan is only a couple years out of high school and during that time, he has explored multiple approaches to achieve his dreams. Bryan was able to grow substantially both professionally and personally as a result of these experiences but ultimately he decided he wanted to utilize additional supports in his quest to achieve all of his aspirations. Since beginning at Ramble, Bryan has made momentous steps in developing professional skills that will aid him in community employment. Bryan excels at being thorough and complete in all of the tasks and he always strives to have exceptional work ethic. Bryan has a great attitude every day and is eager to learn new tasks. His favorite tasks are counting the register during opening procedures, cleaning mirrors and placing Ramble logo stickers on bags. Bryan continues to learn new skills every day and his drive for independent employment is a shining example of Ramble on Pearl’s mission.


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14202776_1737118103220971_8767342318293253368_nPenny is Ramble’s newest Apprentice Program graduate and community employee. Penny began working at Clutter Consignment in October 2016 and has been a joyful presence to coworkers and customers alike. Penny loves customer assistance and goes above and beyond to deliver exceptional service to all of Clutter’s visitors! Penny loves her close-knit group of coworkers and her supervisor, Patti, who have all been incredibly supportive of her from her first day. Penny operates the cash register and is in charge of checking out Clutter’s many customers, especially during busy hours of operation. Penny also assists her coworkers in tagging and merchandising new items to make the store visually appealing and interesting. Penny works five days a week and her coworkers have expressed how much her jubilant laughter makes Clutter an even brighter place to shop. Clutter Consignment, we are grateful for you!

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13095996_1686957344903714_4994176112590124938_nAlexa was a wonderful addition to the Ramble Apprentice team in April 2016. She was  inquisitive and always asked questions that other people would never think to ask.  Alexa is dependable, timely and has worked extremely hard to become thorough in all of the jobs that she does.  During her time at Ramble, Alexa enjoyed steaming and beautifying the store to make sure that everything looks as inviting as possible for our customers.

Alexa loves animals and has her own dog walking business.  She also owns two cats and has volunteered at multiple doggy daycares and horse ranches.  Alexa also loves children and has worked with them at a daycare and day camp.  Alexa is compassionate and loving towards every animal and person that she meets!

In September 2106 Alexa graduated from the Apprenticeship Program and obtained employment at the Longmont Humane Society. Alexa is responsible for providing daily care for the adoptable cats during her 2-3 shifts per week, providing them with food and water and keeping their kennels clean and with fresh litter. Alexa is also responsible for providing the specialized care that some of the cats need. Alexa has become so efficient in discharging her initial job responsibilities that she has been given added responsibilities. She also provides much needed socialization for the cats to prevent stress and loneliness and prepare them for integration into a forever home! Alexa’s supervisor, Maddy, has told her support staff at Ramble that Alexa is a valued team member at LHS and they appreciate all of her hard work.

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seanSean started at Ramble in April 2016 and proved himself to be an exceptionally hard worker. Sean always shows up with a great attitude and is always enthusiastic about whatever the day may hold. During his time at Ramble, Sean was our go-to man for anything inventory related, including reconciling purchase orders, stickering and tagging new items and preparing them for placement on the sales floor.

Sean has a plethora of hobbies that keep him busy outside of work. He is a music and movie buff and always has a new recommendation for his coworkers to check out. Sean also loves video games and comics.  In fact, for the last several years, Sean and his mom have volunteered at Denver’s Comic Con!

In August 2016, Sean graduated from the Apprenticeship Program and has since been working at King15107440_1772800619652719_9033416629698993501_n Soopers in Lafayette 5 days a week! Sean is working as a Courtesy Clerk and is becoming an expert at bagging groceries and providing customer service. Sean always strives to do his best everyday and wants to make King Soopers proud! Sean means business about customer assistance and always makes it his first priority. Sean’s supervisors have time and time again stated that they appreciate what a hard worker he is. Sean’s supervisors can always trust him to do his best and embody all of the qualities that King Soopers wants their employees to exemplify. And it is not just coworkers that appreciate Sean’s hard work. Sean recently got a comment in a customer feedback survey that stated that he did a great job bagging! Sean has settled right into work at King Soopers and is an invaluable asset to their team.

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We are proud to report that the Apprentice Program at Ramble on Pearl has continued to grow and develop!  In the two years we have been operating, we have provided the opportunity for a wide range of individuals to discover and demonstrate their strengths as a pathway to securing productive independent employment in the community and becoming a valuable resource to their employers.  Below is a snapshot of our Apprentice Program:

Candidates Assessed: 18
Program Participants: 13
Current Participants: 4 (3 in active job search mode)
Graduates Employed: 8 (1 left job to go to university!)
Average Tenure in Jobs: 12 months
Longest Tenure in Job: 18 months!

Ramble’s goal is to thoroughly prepare our Apprentices for community employment while accessing the strengths and skills that make them uniquely prepared for the positions they enter.  One of Ramble’s fundamental beliefs is the value of self-determination or the process by which an individual dictates his or her own life trajectory. An individual’s time at Ramble provides an opportunity to develop skills, but is also a time for self-exploration and determining what career goals and ambitions each individual may have.  It is especially important that the individuals we serve at Ramble direct their own career development pathway and that Ramble just acts as a facilitator in that process.  We are eternally grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such self-discovery and helping these individuals secure community employment that fits their individual aspirations.


Ava and job specialist Jocelyn with her first Ramble paycheck.

Ava moved to Boulder from New York where she participated in supported employment at Marshalls. She came to Ramble on Pearl with a dream of working independently, but had every intention of returning to her beloved Marshalls. She proudly showed us her name tag that she had kept and brought with her from New York.


Her dream came true this year when she landed a job at Marshalls near her home in Longmont. Her job includes sorting newly arrived shipments of clothing in the processing department. We couldn’t be happier that she is fulfilling her dream and making new friends at work.
Ava’s supervisor reports, “Ava has been a highly valued member of our team since day one. She is a hard worker and always has a positive attitude! We can always count on her, and we are thankful for Boulder Treasures role in introducing her to our team.”
Congratulations, Ava!

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