Change is Constant, Change is Good

Daylon and Hilary in Daylon's vegetable garden

By Mar Ortaleza, Full Life Employment Coordinator

Change is Constant.  Daunting and over-whelming, transitions can also take time and require patience.  Dynamic goals require the same effort.  Daylan Toribio, a 2010 graduate of Kea’au High School understands this process well and has reaped the benefits. With unwavering support from his mom, Daylan joined our Full Life ‘ohana in 2012.  His goal was to achieve a more independent life, part of which was to “have a job”.  In two years, Daylan honed in on his skills and interests into a volunteer work position at Garden Exchange in downtown Hilo.  His patience and hard work paid off. He was  hired as a regular employee in October, 2013.  That’s just the beginning!

Hilarie Enriques, Daylan’s empowering Employment Direct Support Professional, has been the key in keeping Daylan focused on his goals and motivated to dream big!  Daylan started to explore several micro-enterprises. His love of drawing martial arts and anime led to a small portfolio of unique greeting cards.  His artwork is currently on display and available for purchase at Garden Exchange and in our Full Life Hilo office.  Daylan also started learning to grow vegetables for self-sustainability and potential farming job skills.  In September 2013, he got his first “paycheck”, selling out his first crop of Manoa lettuce, and marigolds!  Daylan is on his way to becoming a young successful and self-empowered adult!

Daylon and Hilary working together at the Garden Exchange

Change is Good.  It allows for new experiences and potential for improved outcomes.  On July, 2013, Celena Contreras and passionate advocate Valerie Teeters joined our Full Life Ohana!  Celena wanted assistance in creating a new employment path.  Instead of just “getting a job”, our progressive prevocational services allowed her to explore her potential based on her interests, abilities and dreams!  With skills she learned from Technology for Untapped Talent program (TUT), coupled with Full Life prevocational services, she was able to launch her microenterprise jewelry business “Pu’u Wai Designs by Celena”.  For starters Celena recently participated in the Abled Hawai’i Artists 6th Annual Art Festival at Prince Kuhio Plaza.  As we provide her the individual support needed to maintain and expand her business, we continue to assist her in finding customized competitive employment.

Inspired by the dynamic duo of Celena and Valerie, Full Life is collaborating developing our very own prevocational program to assist interested participants learn a variety of job skills from 3D computer product design, production of unique products, and sales and marketing of these unique “Hawai’i Island Made” products!

Our Employment Services Program is led by progressive, highly skilled and self-motivated Employment Direct Support Professionals.  Our participants are empowered to explore and maximize their individual skills, to awaken the diverse potentials their lives!  To keep up with our participants dreams, we are developing individualized and innovative programs in the arts, farming, product design and production, and customized competitive employment. Full Life’s goal is to maintain our commitment toward individualized prevocational services for all of our interested participants.

Celena and Valerie at the Abled Hawaii Artists Festival