Williams runs an exercise day on Tuesday mornings, and there is also a game day on Thursday mornings at the church. A more academic program is held Monday afternoon for special needs adults.
"They have a maturity and wisdom way beyond their years," said Terri Cooney, youth director and founder of the special needs ministry at the church. "They have great skill. I'm the mom of some special needs kids. My son is 26 and has autism. They are exemplary and have a God given gift to just understand and relate with [those with special needs]."
Cooney met the pair in March 2012, and knows Givens better as he's a church member; however, both do considerable work for the church.
"I see them both every week in all kinds of circumstances. They're very fine young men," Cooney said. "It's a rare pair. I don't think in all my years of working with the young I've met two quite like these guys."
"They really cover all their bases, as far as the legality of forms, everything that they do is very highly professional which is pretty astounding considering their age," Cooney said.
In June, P&J's Life Skills held its first summer camp at the Arena Club in Churchville, offering sports, swimming, bowling and therapeutic horseback riding, among other activities for one week during the day.
"Summer camp is huge. Being able to provide a summer camp at the age of 19, not many people trust anybody with their kids with disabilities, they don't often leave them alone ever," Williams said. "It's like, wow, you're going to trust me with your kid? That's a huge responsibility, but it's also a huge sense of accomplishment."
While the two took the camp seriously, they also had fun, dressing up in costumes and adopting humorous character personas to entertain those at the camp, which was open to developmentally disabled children and adults ages 6-21.
"We have a lot of fun working with the children," Givens said. "It's all we like to do."
Anne Cerruto's son Luke, who has both Down syndrome and autism, participated in the summer camp and enjoyed it a lot, she said.
"He seemed to be in a really good mood," Cerruto said. "He seemed to have a good day and the report we got from them is that he had a great day."
"When you have a child with special needs, it's very hard to find a camp that will take them," said Barbara Brown, whose 13-year-old son Elliot also has Down syndrome and attended the camp. "He's very active, my Elliot, so a sports camp is good for him."
"P&J's Life Skills generally has made those things an option for those kids to do in a group," Brown added. "There aren't any other groups like that that I know of."
The summer camp will also have three more sessions: Aug. 5-9, Aug. 12-16 and Aug. 19-23, with volunteers still being sought to help. If those sessions are successful, the two hope to hold more camps around the state and possibly hold an overnight camp "so parents can have a whole week for themselves," Givens said.
Lack of interaction
Givens and Williams already had experience being with children and adults with developmental disabilities even going back to elementary school. Williams volunteered in speech classes, where there were several students with Down syndrome, and Givens had a close friend who used a wheelchair in kindergarten. Givens also has a brother with severe epilepsy.
The real impetus for the business started when the pair, best friends since middle school, began attending Patterson Mill High School.
At Patterson Mill, they noticed that there wasn't a lot of interaction the students with special needs had with the rest of the school.
"In a classroom, there's just children with disabilities and teachers. That's it," Givens said. "The learned behavior's going to be other children with disabilities. We saw this and thought the interaction with other kids was necessary."