Never in a million years would Erika have imagined she would shed her shyness and become a confident peer leader, but she did and your generous support made it possible!
Erika’s family is from El Salvador and she speaks English as a second language. Like children in many immigrant families, she frequently serves as a translator for her parents. Despite her language barriers and developmental challenges, Erika has become a confident peer leader and has begun to participate more fully in her community through The Arc’s Community Links Program.
With a focus on inclusion, we are transitioning our day programs from facility-based programs to community based supports based on each individual’s goals and desires. Erika wants to become a fashion designer. She carries her notebook and frequently draws sketches of her designs.
“We discuss what achievement means to each person, then we tailor their individual pans for that achievement,” says Eugenia Ebb, Business Liaison & Coordinator for The Arc’s Project Search Program. The Arc’s support team around Erika is working on help her build her employment and customer service skills to help her obtain a job in fashion or retail, a first step towards her goal of becoming a designer.
The shift from facility-based to community-based programs represents a world of new opportunities for people like Erika, as well as a new area of funding need for our organization. Community-based programming requires additional resources to ensure meaningful activities, training, education and engagements.
This is where your help counts!