Articles & Insights

Mankind should help each other, not divide each other! This is my personal message.

I am originally from Switzerland and landed on a business related job assignment in Tulsa Oklahoma in August of 1989. My colleagues very quickly encouraged me to follow a typical American tradition to join an organization which was in need of help to under-privileged human beings. So, over nearly 30 years on the Board of A New Leaf ( I have enjoyed the challenges of a non -profit organization to survive and succeed and develop solutions and programs benefiting the great clients we serve from humble beginnings to where we are today and will continue in the future.

A New Leaf’s mission is to provide job training, life skills, and residential services to elevate confident independence and self-sufficiency for people with developmental disabilities and autism.

A New Leaf was established in 1979 to provide horticultural-related job training to adults with developmental disabilities. We began with one greenhouse and one staff, and we served two individuals. By 1980, A New Leaf grew to serve 13 individuals. In 1986, we built our first 12,000 sq. ft. greenhouse and vocational training facility. Then in 2013, A New Leaf began operating group homes and providing 24-hour assistance to individuals with developmental disabilities living independently. Our residential program has grown each year since.

Today, A New Leaf is honored to serve 300+ individuals with developmental disabilities and autism through employment in six greenhouses, three retail centers, and community job sites. We also serve students in the classroom and individuals in residences needing different levels of support.

The Village in Owasso outside Tulsa is a significant expansion of A New Leaf’s services to better serve individuals with developmental disabilities and autism living in Green Country. The Village is an Agrihood Community built around a farm with safe and affordable housing designed to create a pathway of independence and consistency of care to maximize the personal choice of the individual.  The Village will expand both our vocational training, residential services, and behavior support programs, allowing us to serve more clients.

This is an overall $25M project which Phase I plans – to reach completion in 2022 – will include the following a Horticulture Training Center, Housing for 62 clients, 1 community home, 5 single-family homes, 1 single bedroom apartment building (6 units),a Transition Academy School, a Dining hall and an Administration building as well as a 2-acre farm. Phase 2 will include further extensions. All the money was mainly raised through foundations and businesses in Tulsa and Oklahoma as well some international donorship.

In today’s unfortunate world of hate and division, I want to make everyone aware and convince you that there are other solutions to drive your personal energy and passion to. Many under privileged human beings at all ages around the world need our help and attention to make their world better and worthwhile with our unlimited devotion and care.     

Andre Siegenthaler

Tulsa (Oklahoma)