FALL PATHFINDER WORKSHOPS

August 19 (Orientation) - December 16, 2022

GENERAL INFORMATION
Application now open!

In the spring and fall, PathFinder offers hands-on vocational training workshops to help our trainees explore common workforce tasks and build skills aligned with local jobs to bridge gaps to employment. Our workshops are outcome driven, progress monitored and supported by evidence-based instructional practices, adapted pacing and assistive technology. Click here to go to application process, here to to go the workshop information.

Our 4 month workshops include soft skills for employment, person-driven planning, digital badges and skills certificates, and opportunities for community connections and engagement. Simulated onsite and real community work environments help our trainees learn skills to make great first impressions, become dedicated employees and learn skills to meaningfully contribute to the workforce. Eligible for funding by the SDRC (Vendor #PY1700, Code: 102, Subcode: Fall)

Our workshops are held Monday - Thursday for approximately 3 hours a day. On Fridays we have extended hours for soft skills, individual assistance and group activities to build teamwork skills (approximately 10 am - 3 pm). Additional hours may be available if needed.

Person-Driven Planning Each workshop session includes a robust person-driven planning unit that explores community options, self-advocacy and post-workshop transition planning. The trainee will then present the plan to the trainee's "circle of trust" to set up supports and identify services begin the trainee's journey after completion of the workshop. SDRC service coordinators are invited to attend to contribute their expertise, learn more about the trainee's goals, and support the transition plan in a manner that is consistent with the IPP.

 

Ratio:  Our workshops have a maximum of 10 trainees with 3 instructors, and must have a minimum of 5 enrolled to proceed. Beacons reserves the right to cancel or combine a workshop in the event there are less than 5 trainees enrolled.

 

Entrance Criteria: Workshops are designed for those with mild/moderate disabilities aged 18+ who want to further their vocational training to improve employment options, and who can attend and follow directions without maladaptive behaviors or the need for medical support. Please review our application for more details on our entrance criteria.  Approximately 50% of those who enroll have their high school diploma, but a diploma is not required.

SDRC Payment: Beacons workshops can be fully funded through the San Diego Regional Center for eligible consumers who have exited their school districts by aging out or earning a diploma and who have employment IPP goals. For eligible SDRC consumers, the SDRC will fund one workshop per session. Trainees with achievement levels of 3 for the majority of the units are not eligible to repeat without pre-approval from the SDRC. Vendor Code #PY1700, Code: 102, Subcode: Fall

Self-Determination & Private Pay: In order for funding to be allocated to an independent budget to be used in a spending plan, SDRC consumers/S-D participants will need a vocational goal in their IPP. If there is not one currently, please contact your service coordinator to express your interest in getting trained to get a job and discuss with the service coordinator that you will need funding to get the training at Beacons.  Please contact the Director of Pathfinder if additional assistance is needed.

*Our PathFinder workshops were made possible in part through funding from the National Foundation for Autism Research (NFAR), grant funding from the Qualcomm Foundation and vendorization by the San Diego Regional Center. Beacons thanks these organizations for their vision and support.

ABBI SHERIDAN

Abbi joins Beacons from Dream Catchers EDH, an organization similarly devoted to empowerment of individuals with disabilities, where she served as its social media director and as an assistant instructor. While at Dream Catchers, Abbi helped teach cooking, life skills, fitness training, skills for its theater program and other activities as well as plan for monthly activities.

Prior to Dream Catchers EDH, Abbi served a Kitchen Manager and Barista for Makework Market, and as a homeschool teacher for individuals with learning disabilities for several years.  

Abbi will support the Beacons instructional team with her talents in photography, social media, cooking, money management and numerous other areas to help our trainees explore and learn skills to bridge gaps to employment and increase their independence. Abbi brings her love of her older brother, who has a developmental disability, to all those she works with. Beacons welcomes Abbi and her husband to Carlsbad and to Beacons, Inc.!

 

Application process: 

Session:  August 19 - December 16, 2022

Step 1. Apply

To begin the application process, please complete the:


a) Fall 2022 application, and the

b) Consent to Communicate Form: Link.
 

Please note that an application by itself does NOT mean acceptance into the PathFinder program, but the date on which the application was filed is important as the workshops are filled on a first-come first-served basis.

Step 2. Send SDRC Paperwork

Please contact your service coordinator to discuss your interest PathFinder vocational training. (Applicants may need the IPP to be amended to include a vocational training goal if one is not already in the IPP.) The SDRC should send a copy of the following to Pathfinder@BeaconsNorthCounty.com:

 

a) SDRC consumer's IPP (and any addendums)

b) the individual's CDER (client developmental evaluation report), and

c) any other documentation on file relating to behavioral, mental health, self-care or medical history in the past 5 years.

Step 3. Intake Meeting
After the PathFinder team has received the completed application and the SDRC documentation requested above, a member of the PathFinder team will contact you to schedule an intake meeting so that the applicant and/or the applicant's family can meet with the PathFinder staff to determine if the PathFinder program meets the applicant's need and to discuss whether the applicant meets the entrance criteria for the program. 

 

Step 4. Waivers and Forms

If the applicant is accepted, additional paperwork will be needed to complete the process.
 

a) General Waiver: Link, 

b) Covid-19 Release & Assumption of Risk: Link, and

c) Consent for emergency treatment if needed (Conserved) (Not Conserved)
 

Conserved Individuals: 

If an accepted applicant is conserved, please email a copy of the Letters of Conservatorship so that Beacons can document the legal status of the participant in case there is an emergency or need for legally binding decisions. Beacons does not provided medical care onsite, but in the event of emergency 911 will be called to support the individual as needed. If personal assistance is needed with respect to activities of daily living, please discuss with staff whether the applicant can provide his/her/their own 1:1 self-care assistant. 

FALL WORKSHOPS

Have questions? PathFinder@BeaconsNorthCounty.com

 

Creative Design (Level 1)
Monday - Thursday 9 am - 12 noon (Friday team building)

Instructors: AJ Robleza, Abbi Bringolf

Trainees interested in creative design will learn how to use graphic design programs and tools to make digital art, marketing materials, books, puzzles, websites, social media graphics and more as they work with others to develop their technical and soft skills. This project-based workshop will help trainees learn skills to work with real clients to possibly develop post-workshop employment opportunities

 

Trainees will also:
 

develop person-centered plans to help shape their futures,

work with templates to help them work with clients post-workshop, and

create websites for employment profiles to showcase earned digital badges and skill-specific certificates, and portfolios.

Pre & post assessments and progress monitoring for each unit are all included.

Post-Workshop Goal Pathway(s):
Post-workshop pathways will be driven by each participant's person-centered plan and may include further education, paid internships, job coaching, competitive integrated employment, and/or employment related volunteer opportunities. Ideally, the trainee will develop sufficient skills to make the trainee eligible for employment with the workshop client post-workshop.

Entrepreneurial Skills

for Creative Microbusinesses

Monday - Thursday, 1 - 4 pm (Friday team building)

Instructors: Courtney Smith, AJ Robleza, Abbi Bringolf, and Jessica Zaragoza

Recommended for: Trainees interested in learning about the skills and documentation needed to start their own business (or grow their existing business). Instruction includes assistive technology, creation of accommodations, and other tools to increase independence and sustainability of the business.

Workshop Highlights: Trainees will explore: 

  • community sales skills such as cashier and customer interaction skills;

  • photography and graphic design to help with branding and marketing, logo creation, and packaging,

  • basic office skills for record-keeping and order /inventory management;

  • creation of "forever" tools to support sales, order management, and inventory tracking;

  • SSI planning and reporting;

  • person-centered planning to devise a post-workshop transition plan or to help with Self-Determination planning if needed;

  • website design and support to help link to payment processor/merchant card carrier;

  • what documents they will need to start a business (e.g. business license and/or sales permit),*

  • and more!

Each unit includes pre- and post-unit assessments to measure progress, with extra hours for instructional support if needed to reach proficient levels in a targeted area, such as the creation of a marketing email tool, meeting with retailers to discuss possible product placement (where applicable), selling in community markets, and/or the making of items to help with product displays or marketing.

*Note: Trainees will learn about the filings needed to secure a business license or sales permit in this workshop. Meetings will be held with each trainee's Circles of Trust to discuss SSI, taxes and other considerations to make sure the trainee's team is aware of tax, SSI and other implications before proceeding with business filings.
  

Customer Service Skills (Level 1)

Monday - Thursday, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon (Friday team building)

Instructors: Courtney Smith, Jessica Zaragoza
 

Customer Service 1:

Trainees interested in community employment will learn:
workplace and soft skills such as cashier skills, soft skills and other tasks used in settings that require a high level of customer interaction (such as retail stores, grocery stores, restaurants, hospitality, animal care and more!);

develop person-centered plans to help shape their futures,

create interview & workplace accommodation plans,

train for (and take) the San Diego County food handling test, and

create websites for employment profiles to showcase earned digital badges and skill-specific certificates.

 

Customer Service 2:
Trainees with basic employment skills through Customer Service 1 or prior employment will further refine their skills through onsite and community workplace training arranged through Beacons workforce partnerships. Goal is to develop strong skills foundations and employer relationships so that trainees transition to competitive integrated employment (CIE), PIPs or volunteer worksite jobs upon conclusion of the workshop.

(Note: 100% of our trainees from fall 2021 session who wanted a job transitioned to competitive integrated employment within one month of completing the workshop).

Job searches and completion of applications, interview practice, direct engagement with local employers, unit pre & post assessments and progress monitoring are all included.

Post-Workshop Goal Pathway(s):
Post-workshop pathways will be driven by each participant's person-centered plan and may include further education, paid internships, job coaching, competitive integrated employment and/or employment related volunteer opportunities.  

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INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION

Questions? Email:
Pathfinder

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TYLER HERSHEY
Director of PathFinder

& Lead Instructor

Click here to email

Tyler has spent the last decade using his personal and career experiences to support and empower individuals with various disabilities. Tyler served as an assistant coach for the Independent division of the San Diego Miracle League and volunteer for Shooting Stars basketball, founded Project Puzzle (an Autism awareness club) and was awarded the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education "Excellence in Supporting Students with Disabilities."

While pursuing his Psychology degree at San Diego State University, Tyler was an advocate for students with varying disabilities and planned school wide inclusive events as the Program Coordinator for Student Disability Services. While at SDSU, he also founded the Delta Alpha Phi international honor society.

After graduating from SDSU, Tyler relocated to Hawaii to continue his work with neurodiverse individuals in the school setting. After working in the district setting for 2 years, Tyler returned to San Diego to follow his passion and to work as an instructor with Beacons, Inc.

Tyler has been a valued member of the Beacons Pathfinder team since summer of 2020 when he started as an associate instructor for the Beacons summer vocational exploration workshops. He now serves as the Director of PathFinder and as an instructor for our vocational training workshops with a proven record of successfully working with the individuals who Beacon serves. Tyler has developed strong community ties and in Fall 2021, was able to help 100% of our trainees who wanted employment find employment  

 

Tyler's experience, high energy, positive attitude and patience helps optimize each individual's growth during the Beacons vocational workshops. He was recently recognized by the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce as one of the "40 under 40" emerging leaders in North County.

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COURTNEY SMITH

Assistant Director & 

Lead Instructor

Click here to email

Beginning in high school, Courtney sought out opportunities to meet and serve individuals with various disabilities, volunteering for A Night to Remember Prom and adopting a role as a Peer Mentor in Cathedral Catholic High School's Options Program. Courtney was so inspired by the individuals she had built relationships with in this field that she decided to continue her studies in Applied Psychology and Human Development at Boston College.

While at Boston College, Courtney was a Teacher's Assistant at the Campus School, which serves students aged 3 - 21 with low incidence diagnoses and provides a wide range of personalized educational and therapeutic services. Courtney was placed in a middle school classroom, supporting six students educationally, medically and emotionally. Outside of the classroom, Courtney has volunteered for various organizations such as the Women's Center and the Center for Student Formation to work with a wide variety of people. 
 

Courtney has worked as a Behavioral Support Professional at an Enhanced Behavioral Support Home implementing interventions and skill building activities for women with intellectual and developmental disabilities.Courtney has served as an Associate Instructor and Program Developer, and currently serves as the Assistant Director and lead instructor for the PathFinder program. This past summer she managed the Beacons summer program, which offered 19 workshops over a 6-week period.

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AJ ROBLEZA

Lead Instructor

AJ joined the Beacons team early spring 2022 to support our growing PathFinder program, bringing with him experience teaching individuals in need of communication and language development. AJ served as a special education instructor for Together We Grow and Children's Campus, and interned with speech and language therapists to support individuals with developmental delays. He also served for two years as an assistant language teacher to support individuals with a wide range of physical, medical and mental disabilities in Japan before coming to Beacons, Inc.

AJ started in the Beacons Navigator program and later joined the PathFinder team to share his skills to help individuals develop their soft and hard skills to secure employment. He has taught creative design and customer service skills, photography, painting and many other subjects to help our trainees explore and find their self-directed pathway. AJ is recognized as an engaging, "out-of-the box" creative thinker.

 

AJ is an undergraduate from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's degree in communication disorders and a minor in special education. He is also an accomplished breakdancer and photographer.

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ABBI BRINGOLF

Associate Instructor

Abbi joins Beacons from Dream Catchers EDH, an organization similarly devoted to empowerment of individuals with disabilities, where she served as its social media director and as an assistant instructor. While at Dream Catchers, Abbi helped teach cooking, life skills, fitness training, skills for its theater program and other activities as well as plan for monthly activities.

Prior to Dream Catchers EDH, Abbi served a Kitchen Manager and Barista for Makework Market, and as a homeschool teacher for individuals with learning disabilities for several years.  

Abbi will support the Beacons instructional team with her talents in photography, social media, cooking, money management and numerous other areas to help our trainees explore and learn skills to bridge gaps to employment and increase their independence. Abbi brings her love of her older brother, who has a developmental disability, to all those she works with. Beacons welcomes Abbi and her husband to Carlsbad and to Beacons, Inc.!

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Fueled by compassion, happiness, and most importantly kindness, Jessica is driven to inspire the people around her to shine bright and live to their fullest potential! With nearly two decades in the nonprofit sector providing support and resources to diverse communities like our Marines, local San Diego Elementary schools and at-risk youth, she is passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of others. Jessica comes to us with a strong background  teaching Mindfulness, Social Emotional Learning, and Life Skills, and joins the Beacon's tribe as an Associate Instructor for the Pathfinder Program. When she's not engaged in community outreach, she loves hiking and exploring the great outdoors, reading, crafting, adding new adventures to her ever growing bucket list, and time spent with her husband, 2 grown sons, and 3 dogs.  

JESSICA ZARAGOZA

Associate Instructor