Amanda Develops Friendships and Advocates for Herself and Others

(Amanda is on the right, in pink.)

Amanda, a PTI participant for ten years, has seen her life change drastically for the better since becoming a part of the organization.  She feels more confident, can easily make connections with her peers and can advocate for herself and others.  Amanda is currently 28, lives independently and works part-time at a job she loves.  She decided to join PTI because she “needed to get out more, not be so bored, be around people and find more things to do.”

Amanda loves many aspects about PTI, but most of all, she loves being with Rose, Craig and the PTI community.  She said, “they are easy to talk to…supportive, easy to get along with…no one judges, everyone supports one another.” Amanda has made many friends through PTI and seven who she considers good friends.  Encouraged by Program Manager, Rose, Amanda has planned activities with her friends outside of PTI.  This month they went to dinner and a movie and next month they are going bowling.

Dealing with money, starting conversations, and practical math are skills that Amanda had trouble with in the past and still struggles with occasionally.  However, she said “when we go out to dinner, they [staff] help us with how much to tip.  Going to Math Masters [a regular PTI event] helps too.” Since joining PTI, Amanda says, “I feel like I’m more independent, and outgoing;  I know how to handle situations now.” 

Recently, Amanda observed the potential mistreatment of a child with a disability.  She was able to explain the incident to the correct person in charge and action was taken because Amanda reported the problem.  Amanda stated she may not have felt comfortable standing up for herself or others before joining PTI.  Not only does PTI give its’ participants the tools to advocate for themselves, the staff reinforces the skills to support and look out for others in their community as well. 

Update: Amanda Plans A Party with Over 30 Attendees!

Amanda’s friend, long-time PTI participant Terri, recently spread the news she was moving to Arizona to live with her brother and his family. Amanda noted, “Terri is very warm and made me feel welcome throughout my time at Pathways.” She decided to throw her a going-away party at Tropicana Lanes and utilized her resources, including PTI’s one to one individualized training (Social Focus) to help her plan the party.

Amanda met with Program Managers Jessie and Rose, decided when and where to have the party, who to invite and what details to include on the invitation. Amanda invited everyone in the PTI buzz book; she said, “I didn’t want anyone to feel left out.” She also made several follow-up calls and organized lists of “who was coming, who was not and the maybes.” After determining the approximate number of attendees, with the help of her dad, they reserved the bowling lanes at Tropicana Lanes and even negotiated a deal with the manager.

The day of the party Amanda felt confident and prepared. She said, “There were no last-minute details that came up. Everything was right on schedule.” Over thirty people including PTI participants, staff, friends and supporters were in attendance. After the party, Amanda said, “I felt relieved and happy because Terri was happy and it went really well.” Amanda used the event-planning and organization skills she acquired through her years with PTI to give Terri an incredible send-off in just three weeks and show her appreciation for her years of friendship. She said, “I’m proud of myself, I did everything on my own.”

Amanda’s parents had this to say regarding Amanda and her experience planning the party: “We are very proud of Amanda to have the initiative to throw the party for Terri.  She was able to pull the whole thing together with very little help from us.  Before Amanda joined PTI, she never would have thought to plan a party or make all those calls.  The social skills she’s developed through PTI have brought her out of her shell and given her a lot more confidence in everything she does.  PTI has made a huge difference in her life.”