Carol Preston is the aunt of an adult living with Down Syndrome. She holds an associates degree in sign language interpreting and has experience as a support service provider to the deaf/blind. Her experiences with this population and long history of organization and implementation of special projects and events have solidified her desire to provide an avenue for them to fully realize their absolute potential and self value.
Jennifer Dyson is a long time Greenville resident and the mother of a son who is high functioning autistic. This makes her very aware of the need in the community to provide a place of employment for special needs individuals. Jennifer’s husband and she are small business owners where she works as the financial manager. She brings a passionate awareness of business which is full of practical experience along with an ambition to help make the service provided by the charity as excellent as it can be for those it employs.
Lives of Purpose was created to employ as many adults with intellectual and development disabilities as possible. The Charity will open Awaken Coffee to fulfill this purpose. We have partnered with a roaster that also employs special needs people and are looking for other avenues to partner with similar employers.
We believe in promoting skills, confidence, and dignity which can have significant effects in the life of special needs persons. We know that this mission cannot be fulfilled without the support of the community . Want to know how you can help? Check out our Donate and Contact Us pages for more information.
Jeff has a nephew who is autistic. Jeff has over 28 years of full time pastoral experience and can therefore provide insights into the development of a health self esteem in persons with special needs. Unity Church, where he pastors, has a special needs ministry that serves several individuals on a weekly basis.
Stephen Venters is the Assistant Director of the College Store at Pitt Community
College and has worked retail at the management level for over eight years. A life-long resident of Pitt County, Stephen attended East Carolina University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He is currently serving on the Executive Board of the
College Store Association of North Carolina and received the Distinguished Service Award in 2019 for his efforts within that organization. Stephen is married to Katie Venters and they are the proud parents of a son with Down Syndrome. Stephen feels his work with Awaken Coffee is a perfect fit with his skill set and he is excited to be a part in bringing employment
opportunities to the special needs community. Welcome to the Awaken Coffee team,
Troy has a long history of working with nonprofit organizations, as well as the special needs community. Through all of his past and current positions, Troy has gained valuable experience working with a broad range of individuals with special needs, assisting each of them with learning and developing their strengths and gifts in order for them to succeed.