Several individuals from the Center would be more than happy to discuss with you their personal experiences with The Charles Lea Center. They will talk about how the Center has impacted their lives and what they look forward to achieving in the future.
As one of the more active ladies her age in Spartanburg County, Betsy Funderburk knows her community. Betsy will speak about how the Center has helped her learn to speak up for herself and her rights. She will also talk about many of the opportunities she has been able to experience thanks to the Center.
Mary Lou Stahlsmith
Many people the Center supports hold their own jobs and have the same dreams as you and I. Mary Lou Stahlsmith would love to share with your group how the Center has helped her achieve her dreams. Thanks to a dedicated job coach from the Center and her own strong will and determination, Mary Lou has completed her early childhood certification at Spartanburg Community College and currently works at a day care.
The future of residential supports is here! With the help of a conglomeration of agencies across the state known as the Supported Living Coalition, the Center found new ways to support people in non-traditional environments. The Center works with individuals to pick the correct setting and staffing each person needs to accomplish their own goals. These settings range from shared living space to individual apartments throughout the community and even home ownership in some cases.
Tammy Smith was one of the pioneers of this program and can tell you about her story and experience with non-traditional residential supports. Tammy went from living in a traditional group home with three other individuals to living in her own apartment. Tammy is now responsible for getting herself to and from work via public transportation, helping hire staff and her own general household upkeep. Tammy's personality has blossomed since joining the program and her self confidence continues to grow each day.
Moms and Dads from all walks of life!
Raising a child with disabilities isn't easy and they certainly don't come with a handbook. For many families, The Charles Lea Center has brought a new since of independence and normalcy to the lives of people living with family members with disabilities. Parents will speak about how the Center has made a difference not only in the lives of their child, but in the lives of their entire family.