During the month of October, we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM); a time to raise awareness and highlight the contributions made by people with disabilities.
One of PRIDE Industries’ successes is Angel Garcia who has moved from dependence to independence with the help of support services, training, and encouragement.
Angel’s career at PRIDE began in the early 90’s when the nonprofit was located at Berry Street in Roseville; he began working in the wood shop. Fast-forward more than 20 years, Angel is happily working as a Production Helper at the PRIDE-Auburn site. For the last two years, Angel has also been part of a small Supported Employment group working part-time in the community at Home Depot. PRIDE’s Supported Employment Program partners with a wide variety of local businesses to meet their workforce needs while creating community-based jobs for people with disabilities. Angel’s group is made up of three individuals and one Job Coach. PRIDE’s structured approach provides a support system that includes Job Coaches, Case Manager/Counselors, and Supervisors who understand each person’s disability and are able to help with their day-to-day challenges.
Mornings, Angel is helping customers, watering plants, sweeping or stocking shelves at Home Depot. In the afternoons, he works at PRIDE’s Auburn site assisting in a variety of tasks. Angel is a reliable person frequently called upon to put the finishing touches on projects at PRIDE’s Auburn site.
Angel’s journey to independence and self-sufficiency has not always been easy, but through it all, he persisted and eventually moved out of a care home into his own place. With his newfound independence came new challenges. PRIDE Industries’ Independence Living Services (ILS) stepped in with support. PRIDE’s ILS curriculum covers more than 300 essential skills to help an individual live independently. Through ILS, Angel learned how to pay bills, to budget, and to keep up and maintain his home. Angel has been living on his own for ten years and is thoroughly enjoying it.
In his free time, Angel is an avid angler. Recently he went on a day fishing trip to the Sacramento River where he caught two massive salmon. Angel also enjoys the outdoors. Every year, he and his family go on a weeklong camping trip in the El Dorado National Forest where he is free to swim and hike.
“His dad and PRIDE have always been there for him,” says Marlene Palmus, Angel’s Case Manager/Counselor.