View from the Hill: Lifeworks at WKU adds Satellite Library location
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Back in April of 2008 Henry Pepper, a child on the autism spectrum, benefitted greatly from the services at Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex.
He is still receiving services, but now from Lifeworks at Western Kentucky University. It’s a transitional program that has added a satellite library to its growing list of opportunities. The space serves the needs of young adults on the autism spectrum.
“The thing I probably enjoy doing most is giving these parents hope. ‘Hey, this is not the end of the world when you get a diagnosis of autism or being on the spectrum. I can show you a plan for your child’s early life all the way through adulthood,” said Harris Pepper, Henry’s father.
Henry and his dad were on the front row this week when Lifeworks at WKU made history by opening a satellite campus for the neurodiverse population.
Warren County Public Library Director Courtney Stevens had the idea for this collaboration months ago when she was asked to speak at Lifeworks about her career as an author.
“We had this amazing conversation and it really just kind of set my heart on fire and I started looking around this space and realizing what David, Molly, Darius, and the whole team here are trying to accomplish,” said Stevens.
Stevens says 20-year veteran librarian Earl Willis is the perfect person to lead the program.
“I’ve been so excited not just to see him be great at his job but him to be great here and meeting a need that there’s no way we could meet without him,” said Stevens.
This is just the latest offering in this two-year transition to work and independent living program.
“We opened in 2020 right smack dab in the middle of the pandemic,” said CEC Executive Director, Mary Lloyd Moore. “We pushed forward and are thrilled to be in existence for three years now.”
And for Henry, it’s been a journey his family embarked on without ever leaving his hometown.
“I’ve looked all over the country and it’s amazing what we have in Bowling Green, Kentucky,” said Harris.
For now, the satellite location only serves those participating in the LifeWorks program but will be expanding access to clients of the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex.
You can learn more about Lifeworks at WKU by logging on to www.lifeworksatwku.org.
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