Buckaroos Slices and Scoops came to be when Olesya, Kenny, and Angela LaJoy discovered, with the help of their mom, Cindy, that becoming successful and keeping a job in the normal working world would prove to be too challenging, or to be honest, nearly impossible. Each of the three has clear and distinct areas where FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) will hinder their ability to sustain a future with complete independence. With their parents’ much needed guidance and encouragement they decided to open Buckaroos Slices and Scoops and create a workplace that accommodates their disabilities so they may remain employed. Their disability is invisible but is quite challenging to deal with on a day to day basis. On the days when their brain doesn't work well, they may each struggle with memory, illogical assumptions and connections, simple mathematical calculations, a slower processing speed, and auditory processing that requires regular repetition of instructions, and other accommodations. All three are bright individuals, and their disability is not about low IQ, it is about the brain's ability to access the information efficiently.
However, the business isn’t only about providing the three LaJoys with viable employment. It is about recognizing the worth of every individual, encouraging those who struggle to succeed, and providing ways for the community to support them. The trio hopes to create a supportive atmosphere that will equip themselves and others to overcome their disabilities and to claim their unique gifts and talents.
Through onsite job coaching and skill development we will actively seek to hire and nurture those who need a little more help to be gainfully employed. Our efforts don't stop at the door of our store. Through volunteerism and partnerships, Buckaroos will reward, sponsor, and shine a spotlight on our local special needs community.
My name is Olesya LaJoy, I was born in Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan, and came to America when I was adopted from an orphanage in 2010 at the age of ten.
Watching and learning from my self-employed parents about business, I knew from the time I was little that I, too, wanted to be an entrepreneur, a path I was excited to take. A few years ago I realized that I won’t have a “normal” life, as I have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, which makes my brain shut down in intense,
or uncomfortable situations, and scramble information, sometimes even on the simplest tasks. If you see me at the register and I appear to be a little slow when counting money, adding up numbers wrong, using my calculator or fingers to add simple numbers, it's because I have a severe difficulty in making mathematical calculations known as Dyscalculia.
I have been cooking since I was fourteen. Buckaroos Slices and Scoops will allow my culinary gifts to shine, while being a safe place where my FASD disability can be accommodated. I’m blessed to be not only a part of the Buckaroos’ team, but also part of the business that works for and with the community.
Hi, I am Kenny LaJoy and I am 20 years old. I was adopted when I was eight years old from an orphanage in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and I have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or FASD. Additionally, I have auditory processing disorder (which means that my brain mixes up what it hears), cleft lip and palate(which means my speech isn’t always clear), Executive Function Disorder (which affects my organizational skills, working memory, short term memory, and my sense
of coordination...guess who struggled in sports!). I also have ADHD. All of these conditions fall under the spectrum of FASD. My Mom and I have worked together for years to help me appear as normal as possible. This has led people to believe I am perfectly normal, but I am prone to making many mistakes. Despite these numerous adversities, my life is not all doom and gloom. When I was pulled out of school to be homeschooled at age twelve, I was barely reading
at a first grade level. My mom promised me that she would get me to read at a twelfth grade level before I graduated and she did. Today I enjoy reading, learning, playing video games, making puzzles, going to church, and I am teaching myself how to play the piano. Though I have mental conditions that limit me in some ways I also have a gift in working with numbers. I am outgoing, I feel comfortable speaking in public, and I’m able to work with people with mental impairments. Buckaroos challenges me to rise above my limitations and I hope it inspires others to do the same.
My name is Angela LaJoy, I am 20 years old. I was born in Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan. I grew up speaking Russian all my life and didn't speak English until I was adopted from an orphanage at the age of 11. I use both languages everyday and find great joy in being able to communicate with friends from Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus. As I grew up, I began to realize that I had several challenges under the name of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) that limited my ability to be successful in a “normal” environment such as keeping a job. Those challenges can and will be clearly seen through illogical connections, terrible memory, and the constant needed repetition in order for me to understand and remember what was asked of me.
I have many interests in life, just to mention a few...I love art ( such as doodling and wood burning). As you sit at Buckaroos tables you may notice the wood burning on them, which is an example of the type of art I dearly enjoy. Traveling has also been a passion of mine since I was really young. Giving back to others and volunteering is something I feel deeply is important to do, and that is why for the past 4 years I have been volunteering at Valley Manor Nursing Home facility visiting their residents.
I am Cindy LaJoy, and the mom, project manager and job coach for Buckaroos Slices and Scoops. Prior to spending the past ten years as a home educator teaching our five kids, I was a restaurant owner, an insurance agent, and a customer service manager. I also facilitated the international adoptions of all our children from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Married to my high school sweetheart, Dominick, for 33 years, I have assisted behind the scenes with our other businesses which include a mobile auto detailing business, a café at our local airport, and currently House of Spirits Liquors here in Montrose.
I have learned through daily work with our own children that there is little room in the working world for those who need more support to succeed. As our fears grew for our children who were nearing graduation, we realized we might have to create a place for them, and others, so their gifts could be put to use and they could blossom in ways that wouldn’t be possible in environments that were not designed to allow for additional training and time to “catch on”.
When not educating our kids, I enjoy singing in our church choir, creating mosaic art, photography, blogging, and mentoring other parents through my web site and Facebook group Blue Collar Homeschool.