Zulma Andrade, a confident 35-year-old woman from El Salvador, is bright, funny and very talkative. Her involvement with The Arc began only a few months ago where she was immediately captivated by the vibrant and loving atmosphere.
Zulma took charge of her own screening process and handled her own paperwork. She was welcomed with open arms. One of the first people Zulma encountered at The Arc was Ms. Vickey Lacey, a Senior Program Specialist. The special bond they share is a testament to the nurturing environment that The Arc provides. Zulma’s infectious smile and her impressively decorated Crocs she decorated herself won over Ms. Vickey, forging a deep and loving connection.
In Zulma’s life, her family is very important. As the middle child with two brothers, one older and one younger, she enjoys the hands-on support of her mother, who is deeply involved in Zulma’s care. Their close-knit family is a source of encouragement and strength for Zulma.
Adding to the warmth of Zulma’s life is her loving boyfriend, Miguel, who is also a program participant at The Arc. Miguel’s kindness and deep affection for Zulma are evident in his thoughtful gestures, such as treating her to movie tickets and delicious slushies. Together, they exemplify the power of love and friendship, even in the face of adversity.
At The Arc, Zulma thrives in an environment that allows her to authentically express herself. She refuses to let her disability define her, instead identifying herself as a creative who crafts beautiful paintings using a brush held in her mouth! Additionally, Zulma runs her own YouTube Channel, where she shares fun and engaging videos. Her hobbies include puzzles, reading, writing poetry, and adding her personal touch to her style by designing her Crocs.
When asked about her experience at The Arc, Zulma proudly beams, “Awesome!” Her journey serves as a powerful source of inspiration for many and highlights The Arc’s mission – to provide a lifetime of support, understanding, and opportunities to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.