Meet Zach: How life skills learned through the RISE program lead to independence

Meet Zach: How life skills learned through the RISE  program lead to independence

GoodLife’s uniquely-created work program, TEAM Work, and RISE, the a day-services program for semi-independent adults, provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) within the Neighborhood Network opportunities to work, learn, and grow in a safe, inclusive, and familiar environment. Today we visit with one of our Neighborhood Network residents and RISE participants, Zach Brown. Zach shares what he’s learning and loving through the life skills RISE program and curriculum.

Zach, we are so excited you’re here! Tell us about RISE and what it means to you. 

RISE is GoodLife’s community-based, semi-independent model for day service. It’s a place for me to learn soft skills—skills that enable you to fit in at a workplace—for job placements in the future. Not only that, but as a member of the LGBTQ community,  RISE is a place where I feel represented and included.

What are some examples of the soft skills you learn? 

Problem-solving for one! Listening and reading body language, too. I recently practiced compromise. I didn’t agree with my boss on an issue, so I took what I learned about compromise and applied it to the situation to make us both happy. Living in the same neighborhood as other RISE participants is fun because we get to practice our skills a lot! My roommate and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and we spend regular time with Professional Neighbors and residents that are RISE participants, taking life skills classes and getting to know each other well at work and at home. One of my favorite memories is when we had a talent show and I used my photography skills to take pictures of the performers. I like being helpful where I can. 

What do you enjoy most about RISE?

We go bowling and to TopGolf, visit museums, volunteer with different organizations around town—activities out in the community that put me in new environments to practice skills. I’m from a small town that has nothing but a skating rink, so every experience with RISE is a chance to learn and grow. 

Zach, I heard you have some exciting news to share. 

I sure do. I just started a new job! Through GoodLife’s TEAM Work program, I worked at Midnight Farm for two years to gain real-life work experience. I love animals and working with my hands. I’m an extremely hard worker, and I learned maintenance skills that prepared me for what comes next. My supervisors and I felt that I was ready for a job within the community. I just started working in a Senior Living Community in the dining department. I’m really excited about it. 

Get in touch to learn more about RISE and TEAM Work and find out if these programs are a good fit for your loved one.

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