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Luv Michael - Share the Luv Overview

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My name is Dr. Lisa Liberatore and I'm the founder of Luv Michael. Luv Michael is a non-profit company that was started with the purpose to train, educate and employ people with autism and special needs. And we do that through the use of a culinary entrepreneurial model. So, we manufacture granola, and use the manufacturing of granola and the selling of granola to accomplish our mission. My son is Michael. Michael is on the autism spectrum. He's going to be 20 years old and he attends a special school for autism. And as I saw the other students graduating through their school program, it was very clear to me that not enough was being done to really focus on what the ability is of the individual. And they were graduating and sort of figuring out what their life was going to look like afterwards. And that concerned me-- my husband and I. And we started to look at what are Michael's interests and what are his abilities and how could that be translated into meaningful life for him. And that's how we decided on cooking. I haven't really come across many places that would be willing to teach and employ my son with a disability. Lisa started this great opportunity for them to learn how to do things because as they reach certain ages, it's difficult for them to find a job. There really is not a lot out there once a lot of these young people turn 21. Their school programs come to an end and then it becomes the family's responsibility to either find a place for them, a job, otherwise they might just be sitting home doing nothing. The Luv Michael program is organized in such a way to fit the needs of each and every one of the young men. They adapt and adjust, they learn, grow, do, and at the end of the day, they have made a beautiful product called Luv Michael Granola. And then they are able to work toward obtaining a New York City food handlers license and a Serve Safe certification which are real-life recognized certifications. This can be used either to stay employed at Luv Michael or to use that skill to work elsewhere. Part of my job here is to prepare a lesson plan. So, if next week I say, well, we're going to learn about chia seeds, then I will go home, research and I will modify for each student on the level that I feel they can retain that information. Each student has their own recipe card to follow. That lead to independence. So, originally it started out with a job coach maybe telling you what you had to do whereas now, the student is independent in referencing their own recipe card and going through the recipe 100% independently. I think that the perception that a lot of children with autism is that they don't speak, they can't look at you, and that they can't have emotion, or love, and be loved. But, that's not true. I'm Christian, I work here in Luv Michael, in the kitchen. I come here once a week, work with granola, spreading and cooking it. So, my name is Steven. I work for Luv Michael. We make the granola, we pack it, and then we sell it. In the two years now that Luv Michael has been in existence, it is sold in probably 60 to 70 different stores, retail outlets on the east coast. This company was created to help people with autism to find work and our mission is to empower and employ people with autism. I'm hoping the company will grow and we get more employees. Our new facility that we want to build out is about 3,000 square feet. It will have a beautiful commercial kitchen with windows and it will be designed to be sensitive to the sensory special needs of people with autism. The space will have a quiet room, will have a laundry room, because all these things actually are jobs. Within this Luv Michael, you have so many jobs that we can offer. Everything from--you're in charge of doing the samples for the event, you're in charge of laundry services and clean-up crew, you could just go on and on. You could have at least 25 jobs just from that one incubator space. If your child has autism and you'd like to find out if Luv Michael would be appropriate for your child, the best way to do is to reach out through our website. I personally meet with the parents to see what their expectations, what their goals, what their vision is. Buy our granola. Help support Luv Michael.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 33 seconds
Country: Andorra
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 71
Posted by: open on Jan 8, 2019

Luv Michael - Share the Luv Overview

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