Continuum of Care, Inc.’s mission is to enable people who are challenged with mental illness, intellectual disability, and/or co-occurring substance use disorder, to rebuild a meaningful life and thrive in the community.
Teamwork and a Dream
Reaching a goal is tough for anyone. Especially when you have to juggle life’s everyday stressors while living with intellectual differences.
Nyrka, a client of our Individualized Services Program (ISP), had a dream to work in human services, helping as many people as possible. However, school was difficult.
Nyrka’s learning disability makes it hard for her brain to process a lot at once, so she forgets information and needs concepts to be repeated. Her situation was further complicated by her recent pregnancy, and departure from a bad relationship that weakened her confidence.
In about a month of working with Nyrka, Continuum’s ISP staff eased the difficulty of school by spending additional time going over concepts and materials with her. Sometimes they were in the classroom with her. The extra attention and her accommodating teachers helped Nyrka to receive her certificate in human services.
Then, she got an interview with the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services (DDS) with ISP Director Lisa McNeill’s help. ISP staff helped her write her resume and interview prepped with her. As nervous as she was, she got the call a couple days later to start her full-time job as a Self Advocate Coordinator!
Nyrka is thrilled to have the opportunity to interact with lots of people and hear their stories as she helps them advocate for their rights and runs group meetings. Support staff work with her on the job to ensure she remains on top of her tasks and provide her with transportation to various meetings. She loves how flexible and kind her staff is, as they do all they can to work around her busy schedule. Nyrka’s also immensely grateful for their assistance with other daily living tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, and finances.
Reflecting on this exciting new chapter of her life, Nyrka acknowledges the crucial role that partnering with ISP and others played in her success. “I don’t believe everything should be done just by myself. It should be a team effort.”