BELFAST, Maine — When Patricia Saucier was a teenager, she felt as if her life story would be defined by what she could not do.
As a child, she was diagnosed with an intellectual disability. By the time she was 16, her parents signed her up to receive Supplemental Security Income from the government. They wanted to make sure she would be financially OK, but it made her feel different — and not in a good way.
“I felt like they were saying I couldn’t do anything,” she said.
But Saucier, now 43 and living in Searsport, has found a way to rewrite her story. For 20 years, she and her twin sister, Latricia, have worked for Bank of America’s 48-person Support Services team in Belfast. Nearly 40 of the team members have an intellectual disability — the others are managers — and both sisters have thrived there. They are paid well, get along with their coworkers and like the work. Patricia Saucier was even named employee of the quarter this year.
“I love working here. Even though each of us has intellectual disabilities, the managers never talk down to us. They talk to us. They know we’re adults — we just learn differently,” Saucier said. “I wish there were more jobs like this out there.”