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March 22nd, 2018

Through change, opportunity can happen

Sometimes when change happens, it can offer an incredible opportunity.

For more than three decades, Dean has been connected to Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region. In that time, we have had the tremendous opportunity to connect, get to know and grow with his family.

Unfortunately, a little over two year ago, his mother passed away. With his sister at his side, there was change in the air for Dean.

Knowing he had interests and goals he wanted to pursue, Dean asked us to match him with a new Direct Support Person. Cue up Rob, an empowering individual who immediately recognized that Dean was looking for one of the guys to mentor and help him with his dreams. The two of them set to work on different tasks that ensured Dean would continue to live independently in his own home. Things like leaving messages, how to ask for assistance, and problem solving skills were opportunities for Dean to shine. Rob also encouraged Dean to try new activities, and to his surprise, Dean was discovering things that he truly liked.

Two winters ago, Dean invited all of his family, friends and supports to dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner, he invited everyone back to his home for a concert. Dean had been working with his music teacher for several months, and was excited to perform two songs to the people he cared about. We were invited, experiencing Dean’s moving and amazing rendition of Me and Julio Down at the School Yard.

Seeing Dean flourish, with Rob and his sister alongside him, has been a humbling experience. It reminds us that our work, even if decades in the making, is always changing. Opportunity can happen at any time.


Individualized Support

With programs that are individualized to children, adults and community participation, each person is supported based on their needs, goals and dreams. Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region uses an individualized approach in all the work that we do, including in programs like Special Services at Home, Passport and Working Adults Learning Empowering Skills.