NewsCovering Colorado


Students of all abilities create floral design arrangements at one Colorado Springs flower shop

Dandelion Chapel Hills
Posted at 9:41 PM, Feb 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-18 00:42:37-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — One flower shop in Colorado Springs is helping people grow. It's called Dandelion Chapel Hills, located in the mall. They have partnered with Academy School District 20 to hire students with disabilities to design floral arrangements.

The owner of the flower shop DeNyse White started teaching a floral arrangement course at the Deaf and Blind school nearly 20 years ago, now students come to the Dandelion Chapel Hills shop to learn and work with her.

“We have been here for more than two years and we support people with varying abilities,” White said.

The store is full of jewelry, cards, and flowers. Many of the beautiful bouquets were created by people who have disabilities.

“I saw that people with varying abilities would be able to make and design arrangements,” White said.

Quentin Avinger has worked at Dandelion’s since September. He makes floral designs using a variety of his favorite colors.

“I think pink, purple, red, and pretty green,” Quentin said.

These beautiful creations only took a few minutes for Quentin to assemble.

“I think it took 10 minutes,” Quentin said.

Julia and Kailey are also floral architects and students of DeNyse White’s.

White said it brings her great joy to pass along her passion of floral arrangements to her students.

“Watching them grow, watching them look at something they made and they are so surprised and they are very proud of themselves,” White said.

The flower shop partners with a career program through Academy School District 20.

“A part of our job is to do job development with the community and create partnerships with employers to see if they can do some type of work experience with our students,” Casner said.

Michelle Casner and Morgan Markewich are career coaches with D-20. They work with nearly 100 students with disabilities, including Quentin.

“He actually made my Valentine’s Day arrangement. My husband called in to dandelions and specifically asked for Quentin to make the arrangement and it’s just another testament to Quentin‘s kind soul and his ability in being a floral architect,” Markewich said.

“He makes the best floral arrangements I have ever seen,” Casner said.

Quentin already has ideas for his next design saying he plans on incorporating red and blue flowers.

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