Inspiring Us This Week: Open Avenues

Open Avenues is an organization that is one of a kind. Open Avenues empowers adults with disabilities by providing employment education, life skills training, and meaningful work. The nonprofit offers stills and job trainings to the clients that will assist them in finding jobs a traditional employment environment. The services Open Avenues provides are real, tangible skills that will help these clients succeed throughout life. Open Avenues is changing lives, just like Diana’s, in Northwest Arkansas which is why they are “Inspiring Us This Week”.


“At the age of 23, Diana became a client of the Open Avenues employment training program. Like so many young adults with disabilities, Diana had no job experience and low self-confidence. She had been spending time at home with limited opportunities for vocational and social growth. Diana had recently moved to the area with her sister who decided it was time for her to begin making a life for herself. As Diana began her training program it swiftly became obvious that she had a remarkable ability to work quickly and accurately with her hands. Open Avenues had a job that required good fine motor skills and the ability to perform many detailed steps; only a few of the clients were able to master it. Diana, however, caught on quickly and became the “Go To” person. She became so accomplished that she began helping others learn and improve their skills and was highly respected by her supervisor and peers in the training program. Her work accomplishments led to a growing self-confidence. As the work load increased in the workshop, it was evident that Diana’s supervisor needed someone to assist her with training and supervision. It was a natural choice to promote Diana and change her status from trainee to staff member. Now, she is an integral part of daily operations at Open Avenues; all she needed was the opportunity to prove herself.”


Open Avenues provided 33,494 round trip rides to clients from home to work. Open Avenues clients where they collectively earned $326,084 while participating in sheltered workshops and employment training that helped them work towards a place of financial stability. Open avenues provided 32,318 hours of independent living skills training to its clients last year.

If you’re interested in helping this program, so that you can assist individuals as they work to move forward on the path to success, check out what your gift can do:

$5 a week ($260 a year) will provide:

Six months of round trip transportation from home to work for one Open Avenues client.

$10 a week ($520 a year) will provide:

Driver’s Education class for 3 clients.

 $20 a week ($1,040 a year) will provide:

Cooking and meal preparation class for 6 clients.