6When Heartspring student Trent draws, his hand barely leaves the page. Animals come pouring out of his imagination and onto the paper. He fills the page with rhinoceroses, elephants and snakes. Sometimes combining them, creating animals of his own.“The moments of brilliance that he has in the things that he does at least gives us a little glimpse, a little picture of what might be going on inside his head,” Corey, Trent’s dad, said.Trent is impacted by autism. He has limited communication, but ever since he was very young, Trent has been drawing. His talent was something the staff at Heartspring noticed very quickly. Trent’s artwork is displayed all across the organization. Heartspring opens doors for its students in many ways and for Trent, and his artwork, it was by creating a coloring book. Web Developer Kendall saw the potential in Trent’s work, and he came up with what would become “Trent’s View of the Zoo.” He mentioned the idea to Assistant Director of Residential Services Shelby, and the idea began to turn into a reality. A team of Heartspring employees began working together to create the coloring book for the young man. Every week, Trent would sit down to draw the perfect images to fill the book. After months of work, they had what they needed and sent the book off to the printer. Once the pages were printed, students in the Competitive Integrated Employment program bound and packaged the books. The best part is that Trent gets to keep all of the profits. “Trent loves to draw,” Shelby said. “He loves to be able to be creative and to be able to turn that into something that’s employable for him and an avenue of income is amazing.”The coloring book made its debut in a Heartspring classroom in early April. People lined up out the door to get their hands on an autographed copy. He sold more than 100 copies.“To be able to do something that brings him pleasure and appears to bring other people pleasure as well, to see his artwork, is just really exciting,” Corey said. “So we are very hopeful for the future for that.”Trent’s View of the Zoo
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