Valerie Jensen Opens Movie Theater that Employs & Empowers People with Disabilities

Did you know that about 80% of people with disabilities are unemployed? Though this statistic is quite disappointing to hear, there is someone amazing out there that’s changing this statistic as we speak: a woman named Valerie Jensen.

In Ridgefield, Connecticut, this awesome woman opened the Prospector Movie Theater on November 29, 2014:

“We designed a state-of-the-art movie theater from the ground up with a constant eye towards our mission of providing meaningful employment to adults with disabilities.”

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Photo courtesy of helloreddingct.com

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Photo courtesy of prospectortheater.org

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Photo courtesy of connecticutmag.com

Check out this powerful two-minute video to learn more about the mission of the Prospector Theater.

Video courtesy of YouTube

Pretty amazing, huh? I’d say so.

It’s so great to hear stories like this in today’s world. With so many disabled people out of work and looking for a chance to shine in a fast-paced world, places like the Prospector Movie Theater shine a ray of hope into their lives.

By giving disabled people a chance to have a meaningful job that utilizes their talents, Valerie Jensen created a place that not gives back to a community of people who have so much to offer; but also provides a positive, uplifting place to enjoy a movie experience.

In Valerie’s own words:

“I wanted something that would be needed and necessary in the community…so when people came to our business they weren’t coming because they, quote, ‘wanted to be nice,’ or ‘wanted to feel good about themselves.’ I wanted them to come because it was freakin’ awesome and it was a great place.”

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Photo courtesy of today.com

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 Photo courtesy of today.com

Hear why Dillon Tepfer loves working at the Prospector.

Video Courtesy of YouTube

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Photo courtesy of today.com

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Photo courtesy of drspost.com

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Photo courtesy of wfla.com

As Valerie says in the video above, the Prospector Movie Theater business model can be replicated anywhere else in the world, in many kinds of businesses.

From bakeries to office supply stores to gift shops and more, there’s no reason why we can’t create more opportunities for disabled people to do meaningful work, while providing a service to their communities.

I’d love to see more of these types of businesses pop up all over the world.

We have so much to learn from everyone we meet in everyday life – and we can draw so much inspiration from the attitudes of the employees who take great pride in working at the The Prospector Theater.

Faced with obstacles that some may feel are insurmountable, remarkable human beings like Dillon get up, get ready for work and put a smile on their faces each and every day.

People like Dillon want to learn, want to serve, want to do something meaningful.

And along the way, people like Dillon inspire everyone around them to be happy, enjoy life and take pride in what you do, whether you’re facing a disability or not.

He reminds us that the only disability in life is your attitude.

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