“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Amanda has consistently pushed the boundaries of her comfort zone, daring to make her dreams become her reality and not letting fear or difficulty hold her back. She has worked hard, with persistence and dedication, in order to overcome any challenges she faced in meeting her goals and dreams to grow and to improve her own life.
Approximately two years ago, Amanda moved from a community residence to a host family home. The transition to a new home, living in a basement apartment with new expectations and independence, was a challenging adjustment. Through her hard work, she has since learned to take care of her living space, manage her schedule, and cook.
Shortly after her transition, she also started working in the kitchen at Peekaboo Child Care Center. This job tested her focus, attention, and speed. These were not her strongest traits, but she asked for coaching and support from her employment consultant to try different strategies and is now able to complete her job without assistance! When her employer also asked her to complete Standard First Aid Training, she faced the task head on by exploring different strategies and asking for support from Christian Horizons Educational Services so that she could learn at her own pace in an inclusive and positive environment. She is very proud of achieving this milestone.
On top of all this, Amanda continues to volunteer at Holland Christian Homes, walking with seniors and building relationships with them. As some have passed away, this experience has also taught her how to manage her grief, overcome sadness, and see things from a positive perspective. She says, “The most difficult is coming to HCH and find out that a person passed away. It is sad. I cry it out, but I try not to think about it. I still have a bear that a sister of one lady that passed away gave me. I say hi to her when I look at the bear.”
She has also become involved as a Sunday school teacher assistant at the church she attends. There she has befriended and become a role model for a girl with exceptional needs, and has brought joy to the class.
Her desire to learn, grow and overcome personal challenges is an inspiration. Now that she has become more settled, she continues to reach beyond her comfort zone, overcoming her hesitance to travel and visiting Cuba, Quebec, and going camping. Through these experiences, and many others, she has developed new skills, gained confidence and enhanced commitments.