Posted on 07/07/2011 @ 08:00 PM
We were assigned to work with Greater Waltham Arc, a nonprofit that focuses on serving individuals with an assortment of developmental disorders. GWARC is not a rehabilitation center, but a habilitation center, which means that they focus on skill retention rather than skill development.
We have painted birdhouses, gone grocery shopping for foods to donate to a food shelter, played games and danced with the consumers (the term GWARC uses for their clients). We have all grown close to the consumers. Not only have we provided companionship, they have also made a deep impression on us.
To exemplify this we would like to share one specific interaction between a 28 year-old consumer and Maddie, an Impact Boston participant:
GWARC Consumer: I’m in love with Miley Cyrus, I’m her biggest fan.
Maddie: Why do you like her so much?
GWARC Consumer: Do you know her song The Climb? It’s about overcoming obstacles in pursuit of a goal.
Maddie: Yes I do know that song. How do you relate to it?
GWARC Consumer: I connect to it because I don’t want to keep scrubbing dishes working in a kitchen for the rest of my life; I want to go out in the real world. I want to have a real job, and go places.
We hope that this small exchange exemplifies the sense of the determination and passion of all of the consumers that we are working with at GWARC. We have all enjoyed our time immensely.
- Joanna Lubkin, IMPACT: Boston Site Educator, GWARC