Achieve, Inc.

A nonprofit organization

0% complete

$10,000 Goal

Who We Serve

Achieve, Inc. serves neurodivergent teens and young adults, namely, people with learning disabilities such as Autism Spectrum, ADD/ADHD. Neurodivergent people face significant hurdles in obtaining and maintaining employment. The vast majority of adults on the autism spectrum are either unemployed or underemployed, with estimates ranging up to 90%.[1] This translates to a lack of confidence continuing with age, ultimately affecting their personal and professional success. The majority of these folks simply join the ranks of the unemployed, often spiraling into depression and a lack of self-worth. Neurodivergent adults have 46% higher odds of having attempted suicide than their peers without learning problems.[2]

Your support helps address these issues by providing neurodivergent people the skills needed to obtain meaningful employment, transforming them into a qualified workforce so badly needed by the community. Earning a wage gives this special population confidence and incentives to continue to develop skills that will make them more likely to successfully maintain long-term employment and avoid or overcome mental health challenges.

[1] Autism Speaks website, 2022.

[2] Fuller-Thomson, Carroll, Yang, 2018.

Job Skills Program Goals

Achieve’s flagship Job Skills Program has three primary goals: (1) Provide neurodivergent community members access to meaningful work experience and job training that enables them to secure and maintain long-term employment, becoming contributing community members less reliant on government services; (2) Provide community work-force development by offering job skills training to an underserved population; and (3) Expose the general public to the abilities of the neurodivergent community through operation of a social enterprise providing direct community interface.  

2023 Outcomes

Based on the feedback we’ve received so far and observation by the mentors, during the grant period ALL 16 summer Job Skills Program participants showed improvement in money-handling, communication skills, problem solving skills, self-advocacy, and social skills. Two program participants reported they plan to look for work in their fields of interest which they did not have the confidence to do prior to the program. One participant specifically said the program “helped reduce my social anxiety.” Two program participants that required one-on-one assistance at the beginning of the summer were able to confidently work independently by the end of the summer. One participant refused to take off a hoodie (covering his head) at the beginning of summer, even on hot days, because of his anxiety.  He no longer needed the hoodie by the end of the season. Another participant has gone from being totally withdrawn to being very personable and communicative. Yet another began the summer with obvious depression and anxiety but ended the program with hopeful thoughts about future jobs.

See Us in Action

Our summer food program was recently featured on the PBS show Daytripper.  Check out the episode!


Giving Activity


Since 2017 Achieve, Inc. provides paid work experience and job training for neurodivergent people (such as people on the autism spectrum) in Chaffee County and surrounding communities, empowering them to obtain and maintain meaningful employment.

Background Statement

Achieve’s founder was inspired to form the organization (incorporated in 2017) as a result of her own experiences as a mother to a young man with a pronounced learning disability and the void faced by so many young people and families in the rural mountains of south-central Colorado. Studies show that neurodivergent people face significant hurdles in obtaining and maintaining employment. In 2017, Achieve sought to address this by opening a social enterprise–a seasonal food trailer (Little Engine Eatery) in Buena Vista, Colorado where neurodivergent people can feel accepted and learn important skills while earning a paycheck. Skills developed in food service (such as communication, teamwork, and money-handling) open the door to a variety of personal and professional opportunities. In 2021, the Chaffee County Community Foundation and the Chaffee Housing Authority (CHA) invited Achieve to expand its programming into Jane’s Place (an innovative transitional housing project in Salida, Colorado) by developing a social enterprise similar to Little Engine Eatery. That enterprise will be a year-round coffee shop, allowing Achieve to reach twice as many participants each year.

Organization Data


Organization name

Achieve, Inc.

other names

Little Engine Eatery

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Employment, Youth Development, Education, Public & Societal Benefit, Human Services, Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy

Organization Size

Small Organization


16417 COUNTY ROAD 325

Service areas

Chaffee County, CO, US

Lake County, CO, US

Buena Vista, CO, US, 81211

Salida, CO, US, 81201




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