Two individuals at Bancroft discover common interests and form lifelong bond
When Bonnie Davis, 61, enrolled in Bancroft’s Adult Program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities 36 years ago, she and her parents knew she would have access to a robust suite of vocational and residential options. They also knew Bonnie would have ample opportunity to pursue her interests and hobbies outside of her meaningful work and new apartment.
Bancroft was the right choice for Bonnie for a host of reasons – after all, she moved away from her childhood home in Marion, Ohio, to pursue a more purposeful life here – but she never could have predicted what was to become the best part of her experience.
At the same time Bonnie was settling into her new home and her new career opportunities, Paul Duckworth, 66, was also adjusting to the new freedoms that accompanied enrolling in Bancroft’s residential and vocational programs.
The two met at Bancroft’s Lakeside Campus at Mullica Hill and quickly formed a close bond. Fast forward many years later, and Bonnie and Paul have established a friendship and closeness to last a lifetime.
These days, the best friends take turns hosting their can’t-miss Saturday night dinners and craft parties, a tradition they’ve honored for more than twelve years. Bonnie is a plastic needlepoint expert and Paul is a talented carpenter, building bookshelves and birdhouses from scratch during their get-togethers.
Bonnie is a great cook, and Paul is improving with her guidance. “He makes a delicious beef stroganoff – one of the first meals I helped him prepare,” she boasts.
While their friendship has certainly been a bright light in both their lives – neither has family in the area – their bond has also been a motivating factor for Bonnie, who is a vocal advocate for individuals like her and Paul. She is a valued Bancroft employee who provides incredible insight to the organization’s leadership team and often travels to Trenton to speak at budget hearings and illustrate the importance of continued funding for programs like Bancroft throughout the state.
Bonnie and Paul are beacons of hope for everyone from families just beginning their journey with a loved one with an intellectual or developmental disability to adults striving to live an independent and fulfilled life every day. Each has discovered so much more than increased abilities – they found family at Bancroft.
“Bancroft has given me so much more than a wonderful home and job I love. I met my very best friend, Paul, and formed so many other great friendships here,” says Bonnie.
“Bancroft is an incredible program for adults like me – I would recommend it to anyone!”