Nick and Ashley with their arms around each other

Nick and Ashley said it was love at first sight when they met each other in St. Louis a few years ago. They started dating right away. When their families moved to St. Charles, they wanted to stay together. Nick had previously attended the Henry Clever Center, part of Community Living’s Support Services for Adults program. He signed up to come back and Ashley followed.

A couple of years ago, Nick surprised Ashley with a special Christmas gift. He gave her a promise ring. Ashley didn’t wait long before responding. She gave Nick a ring the following Valentine’s Day. She said, “We’re getting married.” Nick just laughed. Although a wedding might be a long-term goal, the couple is enjoying being together in the meantime.

Nick and Ashley sitting together in a car

The two spend their weekdays doing purposeful projects at the Clever Center like folding clothes for a charity resale shop, clipping coupons for soldiers serving overseas, rinsing old medicine bottles for area animal shelters to use, and crushing aluminum cans for recycling. They usually sit with their other friends at the Center while they work, but ride together to deliver the medicine bottles and drop off the recycling. Nick lets Ashely pick the music for the drive and agreed she has good taste.

“He’s handsome. He’s funny. He makes me happy.”

On the evenings and weekends, Nick and Ashley like to go out for date nights. They recounted some of the places they’d been recently—the mall, dancing, out to eat, and to Eckert’s and the St. Louis Zoo among other attractions. Ashley said her favorite thing at the Zoo is the monkey exhibit and Nick used his communication device to say he enjoys seeing the elephants. One of their most memorable dates was organized by Nick’s mom. She arranged a Christmastime carriage ride for the two of them.

Sometimes they also like staying in. They go swimming at Nick’s pool or make popcorn and watch movies on the couch. Ashley said about Nick “He’s handsome. He’s funny. He makes me happy.” What more could you ask for?