Written by Micali Rastrelli. Originally published Feb 3, 2017 on The Boulder Source
Ramble on Pearl is gaining in reputation and reach. The first four pioneers of the program had no idea what to expect from Connie and Andy Minden’s revolutionary idea — and quite honestly, neither did the Mindens.
Two and a half years later, Kate, Kendra, Miah and Alex — Ramble’s original apprentices — have found their niche.
Kendra Minden, Andy and Connie’s daughter who inspired them to create their business, is now working at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Kendra’s Ramble classmate and friend, Miah, has had a similar experience at Rags Consignment. Miah decided to stick to fashion and retail even after Ramble because she loves it so much, but her employers feel like the lucky ones.
“Having Miah here has been a learning experience for all of us,” Miah’s co-worker at Rags Consignment said. “She has taught us so much more than we have taught her. We love her “unfilterdness;” she makes us smile.”
Both Alex and Kate, the final two original apprentices are loving their new work as well. Alex landed a job at the Organic Sandwich Company, and Kate is working with animals at the Humane Society.
Since then, the Mindens have only grown their number of graduates and continue to change lives. Recently, Councilman Bob Yates even took the time to write a letter about Ramble, hoping to spread the word about their good deeds.
In his letter, he talked about recent graduate, Penny, who is working at Clutter Consignment.
“I love this job. The people here have taken me under their wing and taught me so much,” Penny said of Clutter. “It’s so fun being around customers and helping them pick out what they need. I feel special here.”
As more of the Boulder community — and Colorado at large — catch on to what the Mindens are doing, Ramble will continue to blossom and spread positive change surrounding people with IDD, or intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“I believe that the more we can help people, the better off we will be,” Clutter owner Patty Ross told Yates. “When you understand that people are people first, and their disabilities come second, then maybe barriers will be broken down and life for all will be good.”