With Her Vision Came a Purpose

By Katie Rice

Jane Simmons, a retired ESE school teacher, set out with a clear vision of helping her students achieve beyond graduation. With that goal in mind, she began a plan to start a center called Vision of Hope in Pace, Florida. Vision of Hope offers person-centered planning, vocational training, and supported employment so that individuals can work in the community, earn competitive wages, make a productive contribution to our society, and job placement services to individuals who are ready for competitive employment with or without the need for on-going job support. The placement takes into consideration the preferences of the individual, as well as the rate of pay, benefits offered, schedule, number of hours, and opportunities for advancement. Placement includes assistance with job applications, resume development, interview skills, and job coaching.

The sister program is called Life STRIDES, which offers a person-centered approach focused on discovering everyone’s gifts, skills, capacities, personal interests, and preferences. It is based on the values of human rights, independence, choice, and social inclusion. Vision of Hope also offers a twice weekly day program during the school year on Tuesdays and Thursdays, monthly activity nights, and a one-week summer camp program. The program costs about $2 per hour; however, scholarships are available. The program is always accepting donations.

Spring Fling Craft and Vendor Fair will be held on Saturday, May 6, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Young adults with disabilities from Vision of Hope will be displaying and selling their many talented pieces of art! Contact Christine at kilikinaw@gmail.com if you want to set up a craft or vendor table for only $20 with plenty of large outdoor spaces.

For more information on how to get involved:

Vision of Hope, Inc.
5555 Woodbine Road
Pace, FL 32571
Phone: (850) 994-2000
Fax: (850) 994-2010
Email: visionofhopefl@att.net

Shannon Calloway, an APD consumer watches her instructor demonstrate on the drums for an Easter concert event. Along with music classes, the group works on vocational skills and a variety of daily activities focused on health and well-being.