When a developmentally disabled or special needs young adult ages out of high school, parents may wonder, "What next?!" Local families have been faced with the choice of leaving Los Alamos for services or letting their loved ones sit at home and age. Many families have left to find services elsewhere. We want to change that. Lemonade Living wants to make life sweet here in Los Alamos.
Inspired by the high school's Living Skills program, Lemonade Living was founded with the dream of a farm with therapy services that would blend into the community and provide life enrichment activities through arts and music, academic and job skills development, and social activities throughout the community. While our farm is being developed, we have already begun kitchen operations at Rose Chocolatier as part of the Farm to Kitchen Job and Living Skills Program.
The Developmental Disabilities and Special Needs Roundtable was formed by Lemonade Living to coordinate services between local organizations and to fill service gaps for our developmental disability and special needs families.
Lemonade Living is organized exclusively for educational and charitable purposes. We serve adults with special needs by partnering with other local organizations to offer enriching activities and events, therapy services, job skills training and eventually long-term residential living. We make as accessible as possible any therapies and services needed by our developmental disabilities and special needs community.
Founder and President Melissa Arias, Vice President Martha Lyles, Treasurer Lisa Reader, Secretary Laura Tietjen and Robyn Collom were the founding board of directors for Lemonade Living.
Lisa Reader has been active in the disability community since moving to Los Alamos in 1994. She served on several Boards over the years including the Los Alamos Stable Owners Association, the Los Alamos Pony Club, and two terms on the Los Alamos County Parks and Recreation Board. She was also a 4-H leader, and active in the local equestrian community. In her spare time, she drives a school bus for the Los Alamos Public Schools, and supports husband Garth at his ultra races. Most importantly, she is a wife and mother. Twins Ashley and Lindsey, and daughter Megan all grew up in Los Alamos. Ashley is a wheelchair user, and Lisa looked forward to advocating for and developing and supporting social and recreational opportunities and resources for Los Alamos County residents with disabilities.
Laura Tietjen, a local residential designer, is a "mountain" mom with two kiddos, a crazy chicken lady and owner of a fierce coyote combat fighting Rhodesian ridgeback. She grew up in Los Alamos, moved to east coast and west coast but came back to the "Land of Entrapment." Her duties on the board involved all "techie" stuff including managing online share files, marketing, graphics, meeting minutes, and website design, development and administration.
Robyn Collom is a Los Alamos County high school teacher with over 25 years experience working with adults with disabilities, with their families and with community employers. She brings her expertise in special needs education and transition planning to Lemonade Living. Lemonade Living was inspired by her Living Skills program.