Goodwill of Colorado’s Possibilities day program provides adults with physical and cognitive disabilities a place to gain independence, learn life skills, and integrate into the community. The Possibilities center is set up as a small town, teaching clients how to interact with their greater community. The skills learned in the center truly come to life during the Possibilities community outings around Colorado Springs. These community outings are managed by Possibilities Community Liaison, Carmen Valdez. Carmen plans outings based off the interests of clients including fun activities like bowling and trips to the museum and career exploration through volunteering at local non-profits, such as Ronald McDonald House and Hope and Home.
Carmen also ensures the community within the Possibilities town square is thriving. Many community groups throughout Colorado Springs have come into Possibilities to put on theater performances, set up visits with therapy dogs, and provide environmental and safety presentations. Carmen works with Possibilities clients to set up special days in the center such as the all-inclusive seated volleyball, dances and Fall and Winter Fun Days.
Helping people with disabilities gain independence is a cause close to Carmen’s heart. In addition to building a career empowering others, Carmen has a son with high functioning autism. “I love to help and make life better by doing my small part” Carmen says. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science and History, Carmen worked for an day program in Pueblo providing job development for clients. The uniqueness of Possibilities’ town center setup inspired Carmen to bring her skills to Goodwill.
Since joining the Possibilities’ staff, Carmen has seen clients make remarkable progress. “I remember being on an outing and one of the participants that doesn’t talk much, clear as day said my name on the bus, I didn’t think he knew my name.” Carmen said. “It was a very powerful moment for me.
Carmen is looking forward to continuing her allowing Possibilities clients to integrate into the community. “I look forward to offering as many participants as possible access to our beautiful community as well as help to promote, and mentor independence in the participants I humbly serve.”
Goodwill’s Possibilities is a first-of-its-kind adult day program focused on person-centered skill development and community inclusion conducted in an innovative town setting. The Possibilities simulated community spans 14,000 square feet and includes 11 unique centers, each focused on building new skills to increase independence for individuals with emotional, physical and cognitive disabilities. Visit our website or call (719) 635-4483 to learn more and schedule a tour.