The holidays are almost upon us, and we have much to be thankful for this November. It has been a month of hard work on the part of our staff and members, whose efforts have taken OSBI huge steps forward. While we highlight some of these stories below, many of our member's triumphs will be showcased at an upcoming celebration of our One Step family. Read on, and discover.
Our Mission: To provide dynamic, responsive programs that engage the goals, talents, and interests of individuals with intellectual disability and empower them to achieve their dreams of optimal independence, enriching social networks, and effective participation in our community.
Mission Moment: Breaking the Ice in Arizona
One Step Bobcats make historical step for inclusion
This month, One Step Beyond made hockey history in Arizona by launching the first special needs team in the state, the One Step Bobcats. The project was spearheaded by Jared Woosley, OSBI Music Coordinator and long-time hockey advocate. This effort involved several supportive groups such as the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA), the Arizona Coyotes, as well as interested parents. Now, OSBI members are able to skate and play in regular hockey sessions, which are currently running every Tuesday and Thursday during the week.
These sessions are currently held at AZ Ice (Peoria), where facility staff have generously provided use of their rink and locker rooms to OSBI participants. The Bobcats are looking good and staying safe thanks to full sets of hockey gear donated by the Arizona Coyotes, who have continued to provide essential supplies to the program, as well as staff training opportunities.
We spoke with Jimmy Ricuito, OSBI's Fleet and Facilities Manager, who has taken on the head coaching role for the team in addition to his regular duties. Jimmy is also a long-time hockey enthusiast, having skated since childhood. After joining with Jared in meetings with ASHA, he soon became closely involved with the project. As Jimmy stated, "This team was something special, which I really wanted to help out. Hockey should be for everyone, especially people who don't immediately think that they could get out there and join the sport too."
While this was a great development for everyone at OSBI, it turned out to be a very special chapter in the story of one participant. Seth K. is one of four brothers in a hockey family, one older brother plays at University of Arizona. Seth's parents are also both involved in the hockey community, and have been involved with the effort -- as stated by Seth's mother Karen on the project, "There were so many involved in this process, so many to thank. It's like a dream come true for Seth and our family."
Seth has been a hockey fan and
spectator for thousands of games, but
has only recently had the opportunity to suit up and take to the ice himself. He has been having a blast, and turns out to be a natural, as Jimmy noted, pointing out Seth's impressive control and skating technique.
The One Step Bobcats hold promise as both a fun activity for participants, and a significant milestone for inclusion in Arizona. Through coordination with ASHA and supportive franchises like the Coyotes, One Step moves into that greater narrative of inclusion, while providing another way to bring supporters, fans and sports families like the Kerns together. Out on the ice, Seth still wears #11, the same number as his brother.
Congratulations Graduating Chefs of Culinary Program
This past month, the 2016 graduating class of One Step Beyond Chefs accepted their Culinary diplomas, signifying that they had completed their culinary training. This is a significant achievement for the graduates, as their curriculum is one based on achievement, dedication, and demonstration of skills.
According to Mike Homco, Director of Vocational and Culinary Programs, moving through the Culinary Program is an involved process with clear benchmarks. As he explained, "To graduate from Culinary, it depends on a few things. The job coaches determine when the member is ready to graduate as they work directly with them." Culinary students must then show proficiency in the five blocks of the curriculum, which are Safety and sanitation, Healthy food choices/recipes, Methods of cooking, Customer service, and Kitchen discovery. As far as the timeframe for learning all of these, Homco added, "...usually, acquiring these skills takes about 6 months to a year, depending on the individual's progress."
These new graduates are now equipped with the customer service, cooking and kitchen management skills needed to not only take care of themselves, but also provide delicious culinary experiences for others. They are also ready to handle all of catering appointments found in the community by the Culinary Department, giving these talented participants the opportunity to put their skills and credentials to work.
A recent example of these opportunities was the Quarterly Dinner, after which the OSBI catering team received a flurry of glowing reviews about the food and service provided by members. Many guests have already reserved spots for the next quarterly dinner, which will be New Orleans themed.
As noted by Culinary Supervisor Becca Mungovan, their team has been busy this month, as their successes continue to attract new customers. The Quarterly Dinner was one of seven different catering events scheduled over the month, totaling around $2000.00 in revenue for the Department. The organizations served included the Peoria Chamber of Commerce, PT Coe Elementary, and Burley and Associates, and all referrals were by word of mouth. The program hopes to continue this winning tradition into the holidays, as orders come in for more of their famed thanksgiving and Christmas treats.
One Step's Autumn Celebration Returns
It is that time of year again, as the weather cools and the holidays approach, we prepare to showcase and celebrate our members' proudest moments at our biggest event -- the Fall Brunch.
Tickets are going fast, and seating this year is very limited - click here to register online, and ensure your spot!
This Brunch is a celebration of the families, program participants, staff members, volunteers, and community stakeholders who help support the mission of this organization. It is also a showcase of all the great progress made by our participants — all attendees will be served a delicious brunch made exclusively by the talented chefs from our very own Culinary Training Programs.
The event will be held from 11 AM - 2 PM at Rio Vista Recreation Center 8866 West Thunderbird Road Peoria, AZ 85381.
Individual Tickets are $25, and $15 of that amount will be considered as a charitable donation to our organization. One Step Beyond offers a discount for children under 10 to $10, and free admission for children under 2.(We do ask that you please note these guests in the comments section so we can arrange seating)
Please also consider a Table Sponsorship, ($500) which provides table for ten, recognition in our annual report, a spot in our event program, and a running slide show at event.
Please register online or contact email@example.com if you are able to attend. We're looking forward to seeing you!
One Step Goes to Work
Two New Hires Confirmed from Vocational Program
The vocational team had great success this week, as two participants were successfully hired as full-time employees with Castles and Coasters. The members, Dale B. and Josh L., are proud to see their hard work pay off in a huge step for personal independence. Through the efforts of OSBI job coaches and Castles' staff, this location could potentially host more working participants in the future. Everyone at One Step Beyond is proud of Dale and Josh, and we wish them the best in their newfound employment!
Against the backdrop of this major victory, other vocational programs continue to move along smoothly. This holiday season, OSBI members will be volunteering with Salvation Army at several locations, which will be shared in future editions. Over in Avondale, the Turning Page Bookstore is rocking their sales goals with their new expanded products. Since these improvements, customers have been routinely coming in to buy snacks, books, art and other items.
City of Surprise Recognizes Special Month of Inclusion
Mayor Proclaims Employment Disability Awareness Month
Recently, Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott gave a proclamation that recognized October as Disability Employment Awareness month at a Surprise City Council Meeting. This document stands in recognition for the potential and abilities of every individual, and the need for better inclusion in our workforce.
Pictured are several local groups dedicated to advancing opportunities and employment for people with disabilities, including OSBI. In the center is Dawn Marie, whose own story of determination and success was featured in our previous issue.
Monthly Round-Up and Program Updates from Madison Blanton, Director of California Campus
Welcome to our Monthly Round-Up
This monthly newsletter is meant to provide you with a quick round-up of the previous months events and some reminders to what is coming up this current/coming month.
What happened in October?
We had a busy October full of fun activities, outings, and learning opportunities. Throughout the month we focused on Community Safety: talking about “stranger danger”, looking both ways before entering a crosswalk, noticing oncoming traffic on streets and in driveways, and recognizing safety and road signs during our daily community outings. Community safety will be something we will continue to work on throughout the year. Our group also enjoyed our trip to the San Fransisco Zoo. It was a beautiful day looking at all the animals and getting some exercise walking throughout the zoo. Additionally, with so much pumpkin activity happening on the coast, we had to take time to visit one of the Pumpkin Farms. Our participants had a great time exploring the hay maze, haunted barn, and picking out a pumpkin in the patch.
What is happening in November?
Focus on: How to ask for help?
This month we will be focusing on Emergency Situations and when/how to ask for help. Whether its a natural emergency such as an earth quake or fire, or a personal safety emergency such as getting lost or feeling unsafe, it is an important skill to recognize an emergency situation and know what to do when those things arise. We will be doing earthquake and fire drills, as well as talking more about stranger danger, how to recognize an unsafe situation, and how to ask for help if necessary.
Community Trips in November
This month we will be having a special Pot Luck celebration to celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends and staff at One Step Beyond. We have also extended a special invitation to our friends at Hope Services so they could join us for lunch as well. One Step Beyond will be providing the Turkey, but we invite all of you to participate by bringing a side dish, salad, or dessert to share with everyone. Please let me know if you plan on bringing a dish and what it you plan on bringing. Thank you!
Special Art Class Early
in the month we will have a special visitor, Karin Osrtand. Karin is an artist and retired teacher from San Diego, California. She taught art for many years, and as a recent retiree, loves to work on her own pieces as well as teach occasional classes for special groups like ours. She will be helping our participants work on a special project over the coarse of two afternoons. We can’t wait to show you what we create!
Address postal inquiries to:
One Step Beyond Inc
9299 W. Olive Ave.
Peoria, AZ 85345