NHS New Jersey Helps an Individual Achieve His Dreams!In September 2013, Francisco, an individual receiving Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) services, moved into an NHS New Jersey residential group home after living at New Lisbon Development Center (NLDC), a state institution, in NJ for 19 years. Kathy, Francisco's mother, contacted NHS, to thank the employees for all they have done to help get Francisco discharged from the NLDC.I can sleep at night knowing that my son is safe. I believe all of the staff are really good people and they want the best for him and his housemates. The first morning I woke up knowing that Francisco was out of NLDC, I was crying tears of relief said Kathy. Francisco is also attending an NHS Community Based Day Program where he is adapting well with his peers and NHS staff. Kathy also states, Staff at NHS have the best job in the world…they make people's dreams come true!
Later in the year, Francisco attended a family event with his mother in Pittsburgh, PA where he spent several days with his sister, aunts, uncles, and cousins. While his mother and sister were in town, Francisco helped to plan a family event with his cousins, and took care of his nephew. His mother commented on how different his life is now, from being in an institution, and how wonderful the NHS staff has been in contributing to his successful transition to more independent living.
Trip to the Beach is Extra Special for One NHS IndividualThe staff and residents of Ogontz Assisted Living home in NHS York, PA took a trip to the beach that also served as a family reunion for one of the residents. T.K., who has been living at Ogontz Assisted Living since the program opened seven years ago, had not seen her family in 38 years. The last time we saw T.K. was at our wedding…and we just celebrated our 38th anniversary, said her brother–in-law.
Program Supervisor, Pam Bowie, was in touch with T.K.'s family two and a half years ago when T.K. requested that her family be contacted. From that point on, communication with T.K.'s family became regular and visits were planned, but they always fell through due to family issues. Unfortunately, T.K.'s mother passed away in April of 2013 before a reunion could be scheduled.
When the residents of Ogontz Assisted Living planned their annual summer trip to the beach in 2013, staff suggested that the family be informed of the trip so that a reunion could be arranged to coincide with the trip. T.K. and the family embraced the idea, and invited the residents and staff from Ogontz Assisted Living to their beach house on Long Beach Island. Staff, residents, and the family greeted each other with hugs and tears. The family was very hospitable and showed everyone around the island. T.K. sat on the beach holding hands with her dad, walked arm in arm with her sister, reminisced about the past, and sang songs together. T.K. even got to see her nephew, who was only two years old when she last saw him, and is now a New Jersey state trooper. The family called staff “the miracle workers” and repeatedly commented on how well the residents were treated. Everyone is looking forward to many more visits in the future with this newly reunited family.
NHS Germantown Recovery Community Choir Performs at World Café LiveIn May, the NHS Germantown Recovery Community (GRC) Choir had the honor of performing on the World Café Live stage as part of Philly Has Talent.NHS was one of the sponsors for this recovery-oriented talent show, where ten finalists shared their talents and stories of recovery, while competing for cash prizes. The GRC Choir provided entertainment prior to the start of the talent show, showcasing many months of hard work, dedication, and a love and passion for singing. GRC Choir member, David, said during the performance, I've been a member of the GRC choir for three years, and I can say from in my heart that it's helped me a lot. It helps me stay off drugs and alcohol, and helps me with my recovery goals. I'm glad to be in the choir, meeting nice people, and being able to perform at events like this.
Founded in 2010, the GRC Choir is made up of members and staff of the NHS Germantown Recovery Community. Members struggle with a variety of psychiatric and intellectual and developmental disabilities, but all share a love of singing and a desire to build community through the power of music. Involvement in the choir teaches core life skills of commitment, cooperation, and personal responsibility, while encouraging self-awareness and expression. The GRC Choir has performed in a variety of community settings, including nursing homes and outdoor festivals, and they continue to seek other opportunities to share their talents.
NHS School State College Celebrates First GraduateThe NHS School State College was proud to announce earlier this year, its very first graduate, Justine! Justine graduated from high school in the Philipsburg - Osceola area school district. She enrolled at NHS in our Building Bridges for Girls program in early 2014, and has learned a significant amount of social skills to help her reach her goal of graduating high school. The first day I walked in to NHS, said Justine, I thought it was just like every other placement I have been in…however, NHS is so much different. They care about each and every student in this school. The teachers help you with everything, and they listen when you need an ear. These teachers inspire me! NHS is very proud of Justine in all she has done this year at NHS, including supporting our younger students in the school throughout the day, and bringing in canned food for other students that she knew that needed it. Congratulations to Christine and keep up the great work!
The NHS School State College provides educational programming in full-time Autistic Support and full-time Emotional Support classrooms to students ages five through 21. A Pennsylvania certified special education teacher and a highly qualified classroom aide lead instruction in each classroom where a low student-to-staff ratio is maintained at all times. Verbal behavior, applied behavior analysis, individualized programming, speech therapy, and occupational therapy services are provided in our school. Cognitive behavioral interventions and therapeutic instruction guided by a Masters-Level Behavior Shaping Specialist enhance our Emotional Support program. We also offer a Building Bridges program, a gender-specific Emotional Support program for girls ages 12-18. Our school works in collaboration with local school districts and community providers to offer individualized and quality education for each student.