An educational journey

An educational journey

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An educational journey

Two women smile at the camera, with one holding a certificate

Prior to social distancing and quarantine, we had 11 students earn their certifications in Guest Room Attendant through our curriculum at our Jefferson Career Exploration Center. One of the students shared her experience:

My name is Octavia. I am a student at The Service Collaborative of WNY Inc. (TSC), and have earned three certifications in the hospitality courses at Community Services. I would like to tell you a little bit about my educational path.

I first started off my 9th grade year at Riverside High School. I got in a lot of trouble there, skipping classes, missing school, etc. Then I just stopped going altogether. It took me a year to realize that I needed to go back to school and continue my education. I wasn’t planning on starting at TSC, but it was the best choice I have ever made in my life.

The teachers and staff are so loving and caring to me. It was nothing like regular high school. There are so many benefits, such as being offered the hospitality trainings at Community Services. It is one of my favorite things about continuing my education.

I have learned so many new skills through the hospitality trainings. So far I have received my Restaurant Server Certification and banquet training, Guestroom Attendant Certification, and Front Desk Certification. Being able to finish my certification during the quarantine was challenging but also helpful. It kept me busy and helped me to continue achieving my goals.

I am now working on my Guest Services Certification. These certificates may not seem like a lot to some people, but for me it has proved that I can do a lot more than I thought I could. There were so many times I wanted to give up but I realized that in the long run it was all going to be worth it.

My experience at Community Services has been the best I could ask for. Not only do I love my teacher, Ms. Joelle, but I love everyone there and the warm environment. When I first met Ms. Joelle I could tell she was going to be a great teacher. The way she taught us everything, it wasn’t only educational but also fun in her own ways. I am sad that the Guest Services Certification will be my last course with her.

My overall dream job goal would be to be a registered nurse. I really think that the courses with Ms. Joelle will help me achieve this goal by learning the soft skills needed to work in a professional field, teamwork, and learning what hard work can help me achieve. I know that these skills will help me become better at what I do.

I really would like to thank TSC and Community Services for always helping me and continuing to be there for me when I need them.

 

– Octavia

Birthday parades spread joy

Birthday parades spread joy

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Birthday parades spread joy

During this time of social distancing, our Community Services’ team has continued to come together to make sure the people we support still have the opportunity to celebrate their birthdays.

Karissa Briggs, Program Coordinator, began organizing the parades in April, working with our site managers, employees and family members to make sure everyone had a special celebration. A few parades even had local fire departments lead the procession.

Our employees who have participated have made sure to deck their cars out with balloons, banners and signs. Site managers have also gotten in on the fun and decorated the outside of the house to celebrate each person’s special day. Thank you to all of our employees who continue to help celebrate the people we support!

Residents bake treats for four-legged friends

Residents bake treats for four-legged friends

Home » Archives for Erika Carlson

Residents bake treats for four-legged friends

The residents at one of our homes have been practicing their baking skills by making homemade treats for our four-legged friends. They used two different recipes to make dog cookies and helped to mix the ingredients, roll the dough, cut out the cookies and then bake them. They even had a few visitors act as taste testers! The residents plan to donate the treats to the SPCA.

A man cuts out shapes in dough on a cookie sheet
A woman cuts out shapes in dough
A group of homemade dog treats our residents baked
A man rolls out dough on a cookie sheet
A man pets a dog outside

Making special gifts for Father’s Day

Making special gifts for Father’s Day

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Making special gifts for Father’s Day

While social distancing, our IRA staff have worked hard to keep our residents’ safe, engaged and having fun. They have celebrated several holidays together, too.

Recently, the boys at one of our southtown IRAs were busy making special presents to celebrate Father’s Day!

They used popsicle sticks, wood and tools to make some really cool birdhouses. Once the birdhouses were constructed, the boys used paint to decorate them with bright colors and cartoon figures. The finished products looked great.

Thank you to our staff for arranging this activity. We love seeing their creativity shine!

A young man uses a power drill to make a birdhouse
A young man uses paint markers to decorate a birdhouse

Out of the Blue plans festive holiday lunch

Out of the Blue plans festive holiday lunch

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Out of the Blue plans festive holiday lunch

In December, our wonderful partners at Out of the Blue WNY held their annual holiday lunch for nearly 200 people we support.

Niagara Frontier American Legion Post 1041 was very generous in donating their hall free of charge to host the event. People were able to sing karaoke, socialize, and eat a delicious meal from Cabaret’s. Volunteers from Out of the Blue helped serve food and spent time getting to know some of the people we serve.

Santa and Mrs. Claus also made a visit, helping our Service Collaborative student volunteers serve cookies after lunch. DSP Michael Cirrito also spread some holiday cheer by playing some holiday carols on his trumpet, encouraging everyone to sing along.

 We a so grateful to Out of the Blue for arranging this as well as American Legion for hosting us!​