In honor of Women’s History Month and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Month, we wanted to highlight one of our wonderful participants from our Life Skills Education (LSE) program. Sonia is a ray of sunshine and we got the chance to talk with her about the LSE program and the women she looks up to.
What does the Life Skills Education (LSE) program mean to you?
It means making friendships, showing kindness, and love. It means getting support from the staff and teachers. Before I came here, I felt like nobody cared about me, but when I started here, I realized they really do care about me, and that’s why I learned to show kindness back to the people helping me. I am the women I am today because of Association House. I’ve been part of the program for 12 years and it’s really shaped me into who I am today.
In what ways has LSE helped you?
It’s helped me grow a lot. The kindness and love the staff has shown me has made me feel less alone. I’ve had struggles and they’ve helped me through them and made me realize that I matter.
What do you like about this program?
It’s very peaceful and the staff makes it really entertaining. We get to read books, listen to music, and have parties. We always celebrate our birthdays together and it’s so fun. I like to write and LSE helped me turn my poems into a book. They provided me with this outlet to continue writing. I like writing because it helps me express myself better. Sometimes I can’t express myself through words and this allows me to have a voice, be heard, and for my stories to be heard.
Is there a woman you look up to?
My mom because she has always been there for me and she’s tough as nails. She always tells me to go for it no matter what. She teaches me how to be confident and strong. Also, I want people to know that Cleo Bautista (our Residential Manager for Buena Vista) is also someone I look up to because she’s like a good friend and she’s always there to help me when I make mistakes and teach me.