Individuals with disabilities may have a tough time transitioning upon graduation, when their peers are going off to college and getting new jobs. That’s where Building Pathways, a nonprofit based in Winter Garden, steps in.
Building Pathways was founded as a safe place for teens and adults with various disabilities to learn the necessary skills for independent living. Through partnerships with local businesses, Director Patty Myers and Assistant Director Jennifer Pinckney work to give participants hands-on job opportunities within their communities. They also teach participants the basic skills needed to live on their own, such as cooking healthy meals, doing laundry and working exercise into their routines. This is all done within a natural, home setting to ensure that participants feel at ease.
Togetherness and Success
This training takes place during full and part-time day programs that are open to individuals over the age of 16 from August to May. Not only do participants learn how to live independently but they get to do so while spending quality time with others. Being able to learn with friends and grow together is what makes Building Pathways a special environment that promotes togetherness and success.
During the months of June and July, Building Pathways offers camp opportunities for individuals 12 years or older to come together, make lunch, play games and learn in a hands-on manner. Although they may have to learn how to do chores, the program turns these tasks into fun learning opportunities.
Building Pathways participants can learn invaluable social, life and job skills that will transcend years to come. Although the programs are designed to teach them important lessons, they’re also created to help them enjoy life through activities that promote bonding and social skills, such as culinary and art classes, health and fitness training and more. By fostering independence while partaking in group activities, these young adults are able to learn what it means to make choices that can affect an entire group, such as deciding what to make for dinner while on a trip to the grocery store.
Learning these valuable skills also helps to build confidence as they become better equipped to live on their own. For these individuals, Building Pathways offers an environment that becomes not only a safe space but also a second home.
How You Can Help:
- Donate items from the Building Pathways wish list, including computers, training supplies and bicycles with helmets.
- Donate monetarily with a one-time gift or a monthly gift.
- Share the Building Pathways programs with your network on social media.