September Participant of the Month: Carrie
Carrie has been a constant at Pathways to Independence events for over ten years, and in that time she has always been active in setting and achieving her goals, making new friends, and experiencing new things, “By being in Pathways I have learned to start conversations with people, and I get to go to places that I wouldn’t have gone if it wasn’t for Pathways,” she says. From Bunco, bowling, and movie events, to traveling and game nights, PTI continues to give Carrie the opportunities to do just that. But there is one event in particular to Carrie that rises above them all, “I met my husband at a Pathways event,” she says, “our eight-year-anniversary is coming up in November.”
As the years have gone by, Carrie has successfully improved on specific skills that she has wanted to work on, “I used to be very shy, but Pathways helped me get over that,” she says, “The staff always helped me with getting to know people and making friends so when I came to the first couple of events that made it easier.” Now, Carrie enjoys planning and inviting people over to small events at her home; some of the events are even posted in the monthly calendar so that other Pathways participants who are interested can sign up to come. Even though Carrie enjoys taking the first step to meet new people, there are still some things she would like to improve, “I want to work on getting to know more people, but at the same time I would like for people to put more effort into inviting me somewhere instead of me always calling first or inviting someone out.” Because of these planning skills it is no surprise that she also takes great care to keep things in order, “I’ve always liked to keep track of things,” she says.
Not only does Carrie say that PTI has helped her make new friends and improve her conversation skills, but also that the program has improved her listening skills, “Pathways has helped me learn how to listen to people,” she says. No doubt, Carrie is able to expand on these skills through her work as an Administrative Assistant for a local high school, “I’ve worked for the high school for two years, but I’ve worked for the district for seven years,” she says, “It’s great.”
Though Carrie goes to Pathways events “at least three times a month,” she has no intention of slowing down. “I want to keep working on gaining new friends and going new places both inside and outside of Pathways,” she says, “Pathways means a lot to me; I’ve learned a lot and met a lot of nice people.”