(May 13, 2014) -- An article from Today Moms yesterday features the story of Isabelle, an 18-year-old on the autism spectrum who has a passion for American Girl dolls. Her mother, Marjorie, who knew since Isabelle first laid eyes on these dolls that she would want to work at their stores one day, came up with a way to help. Marjorie founded a nonprofit organization called Yes She Can Inc. that is focused on helping develop job skills and opportunities for women with autism. Their first project was opening a resale boutique shop in Hartsdale, New York called Girl AGain which sells American Girl dolls.
Marjorie hired her daughter Isabelle to intern for the store, along with several other women with autism who range in age from 18 to 25. Marjorie said of starting the store, "There's a number of young girls and women on the spectrum who are very passionate about American Girl and very knowledgeable. It is an expertise they can then use as the basis of learning new skills." At the store, Marjorie focuses on helping teach the young women sales and social skills to be able to interact with customers.
American Girl spokeswoman Julie Parks said of the Girls AGain store, "We are aware of the Yes She Can organization and the good work they do on behalf of young woman with autism."
Isabelle, who has been estatic ever since being hired by her mother, said of interning at Girls AGain, "It's working me towards my dream."
Marjorie's next step is to land several grants to offer paychecks to the young women, along with formal job coaching and a training curriculum. Yes She Can Inc. will also have a table at our Westchester Fairfield Walk Now for Autism Speaks on June 1st where they are asking for walkers if possible to donate gently used American Girl dolls, clothing, accessories and books to the walk's resource tent for use.