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On the Road to Independence

Anderson’s story is one of perseverance. He has been a part of NAFI CT’s services since 2018 has made some tremendous gains over this time due to his hard work and willingness to stay the course of his individual plan. He is a very empathic young man and is always supporting his housemates at the Milton Avenue home. He never seeks credit for anything he does, as he always states that being part of a community means contributing to everyone’s success.

Over the past year, Anderson set his sights on transitioning to a more independent living environment, with the goal of moving into his own apartment with assistance from our Individual Support (IS) services team. First, he needed to ensure he could navigate his community independently. He worked tirelessly to prepare for his driver’s examination and was the first of the Milton Avenue residents to earn a driver’s license. Next, he focused on making certain he was financially stable. He is currently employed at a nursing home where he’s an integral piece of their dietary department. His employer is very happy with the quality of his work and his “team-player” attitude. Finally, in preparation for independent living, Anderson worked with NAFI CT’s nursing team to learn how to safely administer needed medications.

We’re proud to celebrate all of Anderson’s accomplishments and look forward to watching his continued growth. We know that where ever the future takes him, his contagious smile and strong worth ethic will bring him continued success.

From “Integrity, Respect, Responsibility” to “Semper Fidelis”

Tom was on the verge of turning 18 years old when he entered NAFI’s Main Street program. An intelligent and thoughtful young man, he began considering “What does being an adult mean?” Tom had the willingness to work hard at something. Shortly after arriving at Main Street, he acquired a job as a dishwasher at a local restaurant, working long hours without complaint. When he wasn’t busy working, Tom enjoyed participating in community outings and recreational activities. He would regularly join his roommates on sailing, swimming, and hiking trips and visits to museums. He was very open to trying new things and exploring new places, ideas, and cuisine.

Over the next few years, Tom explored many paths as he transitioned into early adulthood. After a semester in Community College, he entered the trades. He completed various vocational programs and took an interest in both masonry and painting. Again, he worked long hours and made connections in the field that ultimately led him to working for a company that best matched his interests.

In addition to his vocational skills, he also was building his independent living skills. He transitioned from the Main Street Group home into the program’s supported apartments.

There, he put into practice many of the skills that he learned at the group home, including cooking, cleaning, and managing a household. The program continued supporting him through this process. Like many others his age, at times, he floundered. During these periods, he would come back and receive the extra support that our program is designed to provide.

As his 21st birthday approached, Tom expressed an interest in joining “something greater.” He looked to the Armed Forces. He studied and exercised, preparing his mind and his body for this great task before him. Shortly after leaving the Main Street program, Tom set off for basic training with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Tom is still in contact with staff at the Main Street program. He reports that he is proud of himself and his accomplishments in the Marines. The same leadership skills he established and practiced at Main Street, set him apart from his fellow Marines. The program was happy to respond to a letter he had sent with pictures from his adventures here at Main Street. All of us at NAFI, wish him well and continued success as he grows, serves, learns, and explores.

A Truly Happy Camper

Jordan was only seven years old when his guardian arrived at NAFI’s Outpatient Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness looking for support. Jordan was having lots of difficulty in his school setting and despite his young age, had already been suspended a few times. The Center’s multidisciplinary team immediately took a holistic approach to helping Jordan and his family. A specially trained Care Coordinator from the Center’s Child Victims Assistance Project took the lead in providing educational advocacy. She attended several school meetings, advocating for needed services. As a result, a plan was created with individualized accommodations to help Jordan be successful in the school environment. Jordan’s family and school personnel reported a noted improvement within just a few weeks.

The Care Coordinator also began focusing on connecting Jordan to positive outlets outside of school. She identified a summer camp and applied for financial assistance using funding made available by the Office of Victim Services. Jordan’s family was understandably nervous about sending him to summer camp due to challenges he had encountered in the school setting. In preparation for the summer program, one of the Center’s Therapists worked with Jordan and his family to learn new skills to help during behavioral episodes at home as well as in the community. With these new skills in their “toolbox” the family felt more confident in sending him to camp.

Jordan had a blast a summer camp and even received recognition from the camp for being a hard worker and always helping staff and others! Jordan’s story is one of hope and the power of a young boy, a family and community that never gave up. We are so proud of our “happy camper” and can’t wait to hear about all his future success!