Night to Shine

NTS Group

In March, nine West Branch clients enjoyed an amazing prom-like experience at the City Hill Church Northore’s “A Night to Shine.”  The night began with family members and staff being ushered downstairs, away from the clients, for their own night a pampering with a meal and a massage.  Upstairs all the clients had the opportunity to get their hair and makeup done, then they were paired with a community member as their “buddy” for the evening.

There was a DJ and an active dance floor.  Clients enjoyed photo booths, a balloon artist, a caricaturist, photographers, and a fully catered dinner.  Outside fire fighters and police officers opened up their fire engines and police cars for the clients to explore.  There was a red carpet and limo rides around the neighborhood.  The evening ended with all of the buddies putting a crown or tiara into their partner’s head as the room cheered for the Kings and Queens of the prom.

The Starry Night Prom

Amy at prom

Every year the Shoreline School District hosts the “The Starry Night Prom” for students who in their special education programs.  Amy was invited this year and made the most out of it!

Amy spent a day shopping with her staff Sierra, and they found Amy a beautiful blue gown, some silver shoes, and some accessories to accent her gown.  Sierra arrived to Amy’s home before the dance and styled her hair and did her make up.  Amy put on her gown, and she was happy and full of confidence as she has not had many chances to dress up for a night out.

At the dance, Amy got to walk down a dazzling red carpet into the dance.  The room was filled with her peers, decorations, and so much fun.  She spent her night dancing with friends, listening to music, and enjoying herself.  Amy is already expressing interest in attending this event next year.

Achieving Goals

Kerri Branch

Kerri is a strong self-advocate. Last year she set two goals – to have an operation to improve her vision, and to explore her community independently. She met both goals with great success! Her vision is now much improved and she can see the world around her in greater detail. She also demonstrated successfully accessing her community, which will increase her opportunities to visit some of her favorite and familiar places without staff support. Kerri is feeling very proud of herself for meeting these goals.

Appreciating Diversity

Thomas with map

Thomas loves to know where his staff are originally from.

His mother told me about this interest. Then she hatched an idea: “maybe Thomas could track where his staff come from on a map of the world”.

I immediately wanted to get in on this. Like Thomas I share an interest in where our staff come from. So Thomas and I decided we’d turn this into a map seeking adventure that included a bus ride to downtown Seattle, lunch at a Mexican restaurant and a visit to the crown jewel of all map stores: Metsker Maps at Pike Place Market.

Thomas now has his map displayed at his home. Seven staff are from Gambia, six from Kenya, three each from Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and one each from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Haiti.

Staying Active: Hiking Club with Kyle

The residents from Olympic and Salish Houses love to stay active.  Accompanied by Program Coordinator Kyle, the Housemates enjoy going hiking in many place around the Puget Sound area.

Dominic, Drew, and Rashid have hiked around Mt. Baker, Heather Lake, and The Iron Goat Trail this year alone.

Hiking club is welcome to all, and other homes often join in on the outings.  The more the merrier!