Shannon Discovers her Interests and Develops Confidence!

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“As my mom would say, I woke up when I joined Pathways.  My brain wasn’t sleeping anymore,” Shannon says about her experience with Pathways to Independence.   She is constantly on a journey of self-improvement and discovery and if there is something new she wants to learn or activity she would like to participate in, she starts with PTI and builds on her existing abilities to accomplish her goal.

Computer Skills

Shannon attends a monthly small group where she and a few other participants practice and improve their computer skills.  She says, “I like the computer class because it helps me remember how to use the computer at work.”  Learning new leadership and computer skills at PTI has played a role in Shannon taking on more complicated and intricate tasks at her workplace, Heartland Industries.  Her familiarity with computers has transferred to her work where she often performs technical work on larger machines.  Tim Wilbanks, Shannon’s supervisor and Production Manager at Heartland Industries, says, “I can count on her to make sure that the area she’s working on is run well.”

The computer class has also helped Shannon learn how to research activities in the community outside of PTI.  One of those activities is Laugh Yoga.  Shannon said, “I saw a laugh yoga class on the news, so I decided to call and see what it was about.  Pathways taught me to feel more comfortable making phone calls and trying new things.

Utilizing a Variety of PTI Programs

Whether it’s Social College courses on communication, conversation or self-advocacy, 1:1 training with a PTI staff member, planning her own small group event with other participants or attending a PTI-planned activity, Shannon takes advantage of all the types of programming PTI offers.

She also plans on taking advantage of PTI’s new Inspiration Point programming, especially the Relaxation/Anxiety Response programming.  “I can see the relaxation classes helping me to calm my  anxiety,” which is a continual struggle for Shannon.  She also said she would like to use GAP (Growth and Potential)    services “to work on my independent living skills like cooking, learning how to budget and scheduling my time…so I can live in an apartment with a roommate someday.”

During her twenty years with PTI, Shannon has truly woken up and embraced our social world and her community.  She says, the staff “helped me have more trust in good friends and love myself more.  They helped me find interests that I might want to do and helped me want to learn new things.”  PTI Program Manager, Rose, who has worked with Shannon for over 15 years says, “Shannon is always willing to take feedback and look at who she wants to be.  It is important to her to continually grow and become a better person.”


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Shannon and other participant learn how to use an ipad.


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Shannon (left) at the going away party for long-time participant Terri (middle).



Shannon(right) making jewelry at at class at Lady Bug Beads.