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Power Café Empowers the Disabled Community in their Own Special Way

By Elisha Neubauer

Galit Schwartz has always been a woman of many talents. Having been a software engineer, math teacher, and mommy, she discovered her true calling when she began volunteering with children with Down syndrome.

Schwartz had long been inspired by stories such as Tim's Place. She began working with the Down Syndrome Learning Program in 2012, learning the ins and outs of the disabled community. She quickly realized that those with disabilities are often supported during school age years, but as adults they tend to fall through the cracks.

"At the same time, I learned through social media about many disability-oriented businesses, such as Tim's Place in Albuquerque (recently closed), and I felt driven to make such an establishment happen in Boston," Schwartz states.

With this dream in mind, Schwartz spent over a year searching for the perfect location to launch her Power Café. Her concept was to create a project which would truly make a difference in the community while simultaneously empowering others in their lives. As fate would have it, during Schwartz's searching, the space at 45 Lexington Street in Watertown opened up and it seemed to be exactly what she had been looking for.

As Schwartz will gladly tell you, people with disabilities are no different than anyone else. They have strengths and weaknesses, just as we all do. She has held a firm belief that once certain accommodations are made, people with disabilities can interact and participate fully in the community, adding their own slice of life to the area.

Schwartz stresses that it is important to focus on these individuals' abilities, not their disabilities; to see what they can contribute as a whole. She strives to make the necessary arrangements for these extraordinary people to be able to exceed in their professional lives as much as their personal lives.

The Power Café menu is as varied as its employees, serving everything from salads and sandwiches to brunch platters and in-house breads. You can pick up a hummus & pita platter while your companion grabs a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich. There's literally something for everyone.

"Power Cafe offers great food and delicious coffee at reasonable prices and in a pleasant, family-friendly environment," explains Schwartz.

Welcomed by the community with open arms, Power Café has an extensive list of community partners, all of which are dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. Some of these partners include Furnace Hills Coffee, a company that hires the developmentally disabled and donates to help those with developmental disabilities in the Ukraine; and Gateway Arts, which dedicates their days to providing individualized arts services to disabled adults. There is also Triangle Inc, which trains and prepares people with diverse disabilities in order to allow them to enter the workforce.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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