David’s Path to Independence

It’s Thursday morning at Thrive, and the wafting smell of stir fry filled the air. As I strolled down to see what was going on, I spotted David carefully chopping vegetables and tossing them into the wok mixed with a delicious smelling sauce. What was going on? It was a cooking lesson for Thriver David Cunningham.

Thrive’s David Cunningham and Thrive Staff Debee Stone.

Cunningham is working with staffer Debee Stone to learn a variety of life skills, including cooking, with the goal of living independently in the near future.

After carefully reviewing recipes and heading to the grocery store to buy the ingredients, Stone and Cunningham shot over to Thrive to cook this delicious meal for lunch the next day. Stone has been working with Cunningham over the last couple of months to practice such skills as grocery shopping by comparing prices and making healthy choices, house cleaning, washing and folding laundry, and working toward getting a driver’s license. According to Stone, “David has committed to becoming independent and is working hard for it. He pays attention and is very open to talking about what’s going well and what he needs to work on.”

Out of all the new skills, David is learning, his favorite is cooking. He especially enjoys shopping with Debee, “She teaches me about eating healthy, how to pick fresh vegetables and how to save money by comparing prices. I am also learning about handling raw food and cleaning the dishes. Dishes are my least favorite.”

While he is looking at a variety of living situations, David would like to stick close to his workplace, Home Depot, where he has been for 13 years. He is looking forward to having his own space to create an environment that’s all his and to share with his new pet guinea pig. “Living independently is something I am doing for me and no one else,” David shared. Following Thrive’s mission of empowering individuals to focus on abilities, David is on his way to living the life he dreamed of.