Impact Stories

Meet Sheila!

Sheila's been a member of the Arc Broward family for over 36 years.

In the late 80’s she lived in the first group home we opened. Our CEO, Julie Price recalls riding her bike to her job as a DSP (direct support professional) where she assisted Sheila and her seven housemates.

Later, Sheila realized her dream of living in an apartment through our Supported Independent Living (SIL) program, while working at jobs she loved at Albertsons and Publix until she retired. She later joined our Cornerstone Program.

Sheila enjoys staying active. She has been a member of Exceptional Theatre company (ETC) for many years. She loves performing as Mrs. Claus in our annual holiday show.

She recently transferred into our Senior Program and is thriving there! It provides her with a varied schedule that includes art, music, games, socialization, nourishing meals, recreational activities and exercise. With the special needs of our senior participants in mind, we also have nursing support and offer specialized supports to help maintain and preserve memory and cognitive skills.

Sheila especially enjoys socializing, dancing, exercising, watching old movies and doing word searches. She’s a great example of how our nurturing and inclusive environment empowers adults with disabilities to foster lasting relationships and of how our programs strive to meet the needs of our participants during all the all stages of their lives.


Marc's Story

Meet Marc, the epitome of resilience and advocacy at Arc Broward!

Since joining our family back in 2010, Marc has been a shining example of determination and leadership. From being selected as our Consumer of the Month in 2010 to becoming the President of Arc Broward’s Consumer Advocate Team (CAT) Meeting in 2011, Marc has continually shown his commitment to making a difference. The CAT (Consumers Advocacy Team) group is a meeting where participants learn to speak up for themselves and communicate their needs. They also learn about the history of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and learn about their rights.

In 2011, Marc fearlessly represented our participants at a public hearing about transportation services for the disadvantaged at the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization Trade Center. His concern was that the Medicaid waiver was no longer paying for transportation services and many of our participants used the County’s Public Transportation (Para Transit). He successfully advocated for Para Transit to waive the $7 daily fee, ensuring continued accessibility for all.

Not stopping there, Marc expressed interest in gaining employment. In 2012 he began contributing his talents to Arc Broward’s private catering functions and serving as an ambassador for our Adult Day Training Program. His dedication and enthusiasm have left a lasting impact on all those he encounters. Beyond his advocacy work, Marc is a cherished member of our Exceptional Theatre company (ETC), captivating audiences with his performances as Mr. Claus in our annual holiday show. He also finds joy and community in his Bible Study group.

In his free time, Marc enjoys a variety of hobbies, from playing video games and collecting sports cards and Star Wars memorabilia to bowling and indulging in his love for reading. Currently immersed in the 2024 guidebook of United States coins, Marc’s curiosity knows no bounds.

Marc, thank you for inspiring us all with your resilience, passion, and unwavering commitment to creating positive change. Your journey reminds us that every voice matters and every effort counts.

John's Story

John's Path Forward to Employment

John GlassJohn Glass successfully completed the Ticket to Work program in July 2023. He navigated this free employment support program through his Ticket assignment with the American Dream Employment Network (ADEN). After three years of employment and living off his earned income, rather than Social Security (SSA) cash benefits, ADEN is proud to have John among 77 Ticket Holders who have taken advantage of these employment support services and completed all stages. John has a physical disability that led him to be awarded Social Security disability benefits. Social Security disability benefits support over 10 million working-age individuals with a wide variety of physical, sensory and mental disabilities.

The employment journey for John began in 2018, when he decided to use his Ticket to Work and selected ADEN, as his service provider. John met with Jody, an ADEN representative, who is employed with ADEN affiliate ARC Broward from Florida. The working relationship between the Ticket Holder, John, and the ADEN representative is a critical element in the satisfaction of services and intended outcome of the Ticket program

As John attested, “Jody, you have been an incremental part of my success in rebuilding my career. A gift from heaven, I’m not sure I could have done it without you. Thank you so much and I know God will bless you in your personal journey.”

John came to Jody with a bachelor’s degree, ready to reenter the workforce. With a strong education and work history, John was able to independently apply for and interview for jobs. Once John became employed, Jody was there to provide job support centered around navigating the corporate structure. Jody provided job accommodation advice, communication tips between human resources, his direct supervisor, his direct reports and other colleagues.

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Kijani's Culinary Journey

Culinary Certificate Program Graduate

young man standing in a restaurant with his red uniform shirt on

Kijani, is a graduate of Arc Broward’s Culinary Certificate Program. Kijani’s journey through our program is a testament to the transformative power of dedication and passion.

His journey began when he joined our Culinary Certificate Program, where he honed his culinary skills and discovered his true calling. With unwavering determination and hard work, he successfully completed the course, earning his well-deserved certificate.

Kijani’s culinary adventure didn’t end with graduation. He embarked on a new chapter, landing his dream job at Einstein Bros Bagels. His love for breakfast cuisine made it a perfect fit.

At Einstein Bagels, Kijani’s enthusiasm shines brightly. He brings joy to customers’ mornings as he crafts mouthwatering bagel sandwiches. Each day is an opportunity for Kijani to learn, grow, and refine his skills further.

Kijani’s journey showcases the incredible impact of our Culinary Certificate Program. We couldn’t be prouder of his achievements and the bright future that lies ahead.

Annette and Trevor's Story

Finding Peace, Joy, and Acceptance at Arc Broward

My connection with Arc Broward spans over three decades. My father initiated our family’s involvement with Arc Broward when he engaged the organization for envelope-stuffing services at his insurance company in Plantation. Little did I know then that Arc Broward would re-enter my life in a deeply meaningful way, profoundly impacting my son Trevor’s journey and my own as a single mother.

My person connection with Arc Broward began through the recommendation of Trevor’s exceptional teacher, Theresa Khalil, and it was a game-changer. Trevor’s enrollment in Arc Broward’s summer camp marked a new chapter in our lives – one defined by peace of mind, acceptance, and invaluable support. As a single mom, balancing a full-time job and caring for Trevor during the summer months was a challenge. Arc Broward’s respite services and in particular, Theresa, have not only alleviated this burden but also opened doors to an affordable and enriching camp experience for Trevor.

The acceptance and understanding I found at Arc Broward are something I have searched for over the past 17 years of my journey as a parent of a child with autism. While I had encountered other autism programs before, Arc Broward stood out for truly comprehending the intricacies of autism and the unique needs of both individuals with autism and their families. I am so glad I didn’t give up hope for finding services and quality providers for Trevor.

Trevor’s non-verbal nature makes it challenging for him to express his preferences, but the happiness he exudes from start to finish during his time at summer camp speak volumes. He especially loves the water activities, they are undoubtedly his favorite part of the camp.
To parents who, like me, have faced struggles and frustrations while seeking the right support for their children, I wholeheartedly recommend Arc Broward. The organization’s warm welcome, genuine understanding of disability challenges, and compassion form a lifeline for parents in need of understanding and assistance.

Arc Broward isn’t just a service provider; it’s a community that truly comprehends the complex reality of living with a disability. Our family’s journey with Arc Broward is a testament to the transformative power of their programs, the unwavering support they offer, and the positive impact they continue to have on families like ours.

Meet Nereida

Arc Works Alum

  • Alum of Arc Works Program
  • Hired at Fresh Market Pembroke Pines
  • Handles baking/decorating of all speciality cupcakes
Nereida standing in kitchen holding desserts An Alum of our Arc Works Program, Nereida is on the right track to fulfilling her professional aspirations. She was recently hired at Fresh Market Pembroke Pines, an opportunity she was able to secure after receiving the occupational training she needed to impress her hiring manager. Within one month of being hired, Nereida has become a highly regarded member of the store’s bakery department, where she handles the baking of all speciality cupcakes sold daily. Her training empowered her to negotiate competitive pay and to carry herself confident every day.

Meet Dylan

ABLE Program Participant

  • Dylan is 12 years old and participates in the ABLE program at Arc Broward
  • Before attending Arc Broward, identifying programs to support his needs outside of school and summer has always been challenging until his family found our ABLE program.
  • Our ABLE program helped prepare him for a smooth transition from elementary school to the new environments and expectations of middle school.

A participant of our ABLE program, the Alternative, Behavioral Learning Environment program that provides an enriched and specialized afterschool program for children with developmental

disabilities and behavioral challenges, Dylan follows an individual behavior plan as his needs change over time. His participation in our program allows him to positively shape his choices and behaviors. Coming to this program each day has had a positive impact on him and his entire family.

As a 12-year-old boy having Autism, Dylan requires a very structured environment, and consistent daily routines, involving engaging activities with our caring and professional support staff to maintain his positive engagement and safety, while positively shaping his choices, actions, and behaviors.

Dylan enjoys coming to our campus each day and being a part of the ABLE program. Not only is he safe, and appropriately engaged, but it also provides him with opportunities each day to practice appropriate choices, actions, behaviors, communication, and socialization. Through daily words and actions each day, our caring ABLE staff have gained Dylan’s trust and friendship, while establishing authority and expectations which are life skills and social skills essential for Dylan’s growth and development. The positive impact our ABLE program has made upon Dylan will continue to support him as he grows and will generalize to other environments such as school, home, and the community.

Meet Ciarah

Arc Broward School of Hire Student

Ciarah went through our School of Hire Education program. She selected to focus her studies on the child care career track, which is one of five career tracks offered at the school. As a result of the hands-on training she received, she was hired by Arc Broward’s preschool to work as a teacher’s assistant. She has maintained her employment on a part-time basis and continues her enrollment in school. Besides earning a paycheck and increasing her independence and self-sufficiency, Ciarah is learning important child care techniques and best practices. 

She has successfully passed the child care licensing module of child care facility rules and regulations and is currently studying the module for child growth and development. Ciarah is a role model to her peers and is blazing down the pathway to a successful future! 

Meet Ewan

Arc Broward Preschooler

Ewan, a four-year-old boy with a rare genetic disorder, has recently had a whole new world of communication and interaction open up to him thanks to the determination of his family, the therapy team at Arc Broward, and the generosity of a Make-A-Wish Foundation donor. Ewan has Freeman Sheldon Syndrome, a rare disorder that causes severe muscle weakness and malformation of his face, arms and legs. Because of his disability, Ewan requires a tracheotomy tube to breathe, is unable to move his head or neck in any direction, and has limited movement of his arms and legs. He also cannot speak, point, gesture, write, type or indicate if he is happy, sad, in pain, cannot call his mother, interact with his parents or sibling, indicate a need, make a request, ask a question or make a comment.

Ewan’s team at Arc Broward was convinced that he has abilities and understanding that he is not able to demonstrate since he is trapped in a body that hinders his ability to communicate or interact with the world. Ewan’s Speech/Language Pathologist learned about a highly specialized assistive technology device, which uses an eye-gaze system as a means of communication. Then Arc Broward was able to acquire one of these devices on loan in order to do trials. After special calibration for Ewan’s eyes and only a brief introduction, Ewan seemed to immediately be able to follow directions to make a choice or activate a cause/effect reaction simply by moving his eyes. He appeared to understand and reveal true potential to functionally use his device for nearly an hour! Therapists believed that the device would also allow him to demonstrate his full cognitive potential. This was the first time that any of the therapists, classroom staff, nurses, or the family had seen such a high level of engagement in activities.

On April 8, 2015, Ewan was presented with the $20,000 device by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the generous donor who sponsored the wish.Arc Broward staff and Ewan’s family held a small celebration at the preschool for the donor, and Ewan was able to demonstrate how he can now communicate through eye-gaze device.