Meet Joe!

Meet a member of our FOCUS family, Joe. Joe is a 24-year-old male who receives a wide-range of supports through FOCUS.  He experiences an intellectual disability, resides in an assisted living home and works at Focus.  Joe receives in home services through Family Habilitation, a support that is provided in an assisted living home and designed to teach the individual to be as independent as possible.  Joe also receives the following supports, Hourly Respite, Daily Respite, Day Habilitation and Supported Employment.  He uses Day Habilitation to have access to community activities and events such as working out at the gym, participating in Special Olympics, camping, bowling, hiking, riding ATV’s and eating out at restaurants, all with the support of a trained care provider.

FOCUS also provides Joe with supported employment through FOCUS to help support him to complete his job responsibilities as a janitor.  A job coach at FOCUS keeps him on task and makes sure he has the supplies and materials to successfully complete his job. Joe really likes his job and working with folks at FOCUS. He says that one of the motivating factors is to receive his paycheck so that he can purchase the items he both wants and needs and he takes pride in being able to work and pay for his own things. He has a great relationship with the employees and is very respectful of others while on the job.  Joe is very positive and enjoys the interaction with staff while he is on the job.  It is a pleasure to have him working at Focus.

Madison Timmins Leads By Example

Posted on April 26, 2010

Madison Timmins is an extraordinary young man. As a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 292, he will be awarded the rank of Eagle Scout this spring. Along with earning 30 merit badges, he has served as a Chaplain Aide and Program Manager. Madison also completed his Eagle Scout community service project for the MOA Parks & Rec. Dept. To prevent costly damage,he strengthened 21 permanent tire barriers which protect the fence surrounding the baseball fields. He has volunteered and taken part in several other scout community service projects. In addition to many church service projects shoveling driveways and raking leaves, Madison has participated in JROTC all through high school and has been involved in their various service projects. He understands patriotism and is honored to wear his Air Force JROTC uniform. Madison is a senior at Eagle River High School and enjoys working in the horticulture program at King Career Center. Madison is a good example to all who associate with him. He has overcome his special needs challenges by keeping a sense of humor, having positive energy and maintaining the determination needed to overcome obstacles. At school he is a hard worker, completing all expectations in a timely manner with enthusiasm. Madison would like to be a master gardener and run his own greenhouse. By growing bright flowers and plants, he will contribute to the beautification and enhancement of our community.

Ban the ‘R’ word Campaign

Posted on June 2009

I wanted to relate a story to you that Sean’s teacher told me today. For those of you who haven’t seen Sean in a while, he is now in 10th grade at Chugiak High School. Today there was a school assembily and one of the speakers was from Special Olympics Alaska. She gave a very moving speech on the “Ban the ’R’ word Campaign.” She explained that it is hurtful to call special needs people “retarded.” After her speech there was a basektball shooting contest and Sean’s teacher decided to let him enter. In front of the whole assembly, in line with the other regular ed students, Sean made the shot and continued making shots to the wild cheers of the students in the stands! They were all shouting Sean’s name and cheering for him! When he didn’t make it to the final shootout, the crowd booed!! What a touching finish to the speech on “Ban the ’R’ Word!!”

In addition, Sean got lots of compliments at his regular phys ed class and now the student body government would like to do something to support Special Olympics at our school.
Representatives from Special Olympics stopped by after the assembly to congratulate Sean and to see what they could do to help. The end of that meeting was a pledge to get as many as possible involved in Special Olympics. We are looking for athletes to partner our kids in Spcial Olympics events. By the way, I have a state champion bowler in my room too!