BY FRANKI ROSENTHAL
Ever since Class of 2015 alumna Alexis Chung graduated, she said her life has not been as happy as it was when she won homecoming queen. That was, until she started working at Scentsability, a nonprofit organization that specializes in making scented products for home and body use.
Denise Anderson, Chung’s mother, said that Chung’s transition after leaving high school was extremely difficult as she was very limited in her choices after graduation.
“There is a huge issue for young adults with intellectual disabilities after they leave high school, because there really aren’t many options on what they can do,” Anderson said. “For Alexis, as someone who was involved in school as the homecoming queen, cheer buddies and being someone who the entire school knew and who the entire community knows, the struggle was intense after she left high school.”
Anderson said she spent months searching for future educational and job opportunities for Alexis that would offer her work.
“My husband brought home a candle from an event that Scentsability was at along with a business card,” Anderson said. “It took a while for me to finally reach out to the director of the company, but I knew that Alexis really needed something. Considering that there were so few options, I finally reached out, and ever since then, Alexis has been working at Scentsability.”
Anderson said it was necessary for Alexis to involve herself in something outside of the Bay because of all the difficulties she faced directly after leaving.
“She has sat home for the last year and has gone through anxiety, depression and weight gain because she lost all aspects of her socialization,” Anderson said. “She lost that place where she could go and all of her needs could be met. Whether it be socially, medically, intellectually or emotionally, but it all came to a screeching halt.”