Cardinal Services Executive Director Vickie Lootens accepts the Old National Bank Foundation check from local ONB leaders (L to R): Sandra Parra, Warsaw branch manager; Lootens; Jennifer Hoggett, Mishawaka branch manager; and Mark Dobberstein, Michiana market president. Photo Provided.
Cardinal Services Executive Director Vickie Lootens accepts the Old National Bank Foundation check from local ONB leaders (L to R): Sandra Parra, Warsaw branch manager; Lootens; Jennifer Hoggett, Mishawaka branch manager; and Mark Dobberstein, Michiana market president. Photo Provided.
The Old National Bank Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to Cardinal Services for programs to enhance employability and independence for students and working-age adults with disabilities.

Participants in Cardinal’s Dream Teens camps and employment services will increase their job readiness by developing hard skills through trainings, certifications and hands-on experiences, according to a news release from Cardinal Services. They also will improve soft skills such as time management, personal responsibility, communication skills and networking.

The grant will pay for stipends so that people can have paid work experiences during their training. It will also pay for educational certifications as evidence of their training and abilities.

Through collaborations with area manufacturers, the projects also help create inclusive workplaces in the community by reducing negative stereotypes and preparing employers for a pipeline of work-ready, neurodivergent talent.

“We’re tremendously grateful to Old National Bank Foundation and our many friends at ONB,” said Vickie Lootens, executive director of Cardinal. “Their ongoing support means that Cardinal is able to grow and improve opportunities for people with disabilities. We can’t do it alone, and their support makes a difference.”

Cardinal Services provides a full array of services to adults with intellectual disabilities and to families who have small children with needs. Since 1954, Cardinal has assisted and advocated for people with disabilities and challenges to live lives full of dignity, growth and opportunity. Cardinal’s purpose is to lead the way to full equity, access and inclusion for people with disabilities, families and communities. To learn more, visit www.cardinalservices.org.