Abilene twins with autism finding passion in the workplace


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Twins Tomlyn and Lee Lovell have done everything together since birth, and now they are benefiting from working together.   

These 18-year-old identical twins with autism always enjoy doing things together, like sharing an office.   

Despite their disability, being in the workplace together has been a passion of theirs. 

“I love working. I love feeling like I have an impact on people and what they do,” says Tomlyn.   

The 18-year-old boys are given the opportunity to work as interns at the West Central Texas ADRC in Abilene.

“The tasks that they’ve been working on are the typical tasks that fall on my shoulders,” says their supervisor, Alesha Burks,.   

Burks says they do amazing work, which makes her job easier.  

“It’s partially because they’ve really helped, and they’ve really stood in and helped when things needed to be taken care of, ” says Burks.   

They’ve been able to develop their skills in creating Microsoft PowerPoint slides and writing articles for the web. 

“It’s been very useful to learn office skills because now I’ve been learning how to write news stories,” says Lee. 

It’s all possible thanks to the Summer Earn and Learn Program, also known as “SEAL,” that’s partnered with workforce solutions. 

“Different community partners have stepped up and said, ‘Yes, we’ll host them at our job site.’ They work with them, kind of provide some mentorship, talk about work readiness basics and basically just get them prepared for the work life after they’re done with school,” says managing director of Workforce Solutions, Celina Gamez.

The twins work a full 9 to 5 workday, all while gaining employability skills training and paid work experience. 

“It’s crazy, like, I can’t imagine my life without this job now,” says Lee.  

Tomlyn and Lee say the program is leading them in the right direction for their future, when they hope to go to college. 

To find out more about the “SEAL” program click here  

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