David Leese has been participating in programs at The Arc of San Diego for the past 30 years. For the past 11 years, David has lived on his own in a condominium that he purchased in San Marcos. The Arc of San Diego's Independent Living Services helps David with his goal to live independently.

David has faced challenges over the years in finding a job. He worked at the same company for 17 years until he was laid off and encountered challenges budgeting his finances. David understood the importance of finding a job to continue living independently and that it was necessary to be able to keep his condo. Fortunately, David was hired to work full-time for Albertson's grocery store in April 2007.

David is a Courtesy Clerk/Bagger. His duties include customer service, bagging groceries, straightening shelves and returning merchandise. When asked about his job, David stated, "Everybody is so friendly and I love my job." He has received an award for outstanding customer service at Albertson's.

David is very proud of becoming a homeowner. "I could not be where I am now without Arc," David stated. "I have gained self-confidence and have learned to be my own person." He has been recognized for his accomplishments and was honored as the Independent Living Services "Consumer of the Year."

With the help of The Arc, David is responsible with paying his bills on time and reporting to work when scheduled. He no longer receives Social Security and lives solely on wages from his job. He independently cleans his apartment, shops for groceries, cooks, does laundry and cares for his two birds.

David Leece