June 22, 2021
By Tammy Ritchie and Cheryl Steenerson
Our friend Eric discovered his love of art several years ago and he has progressed his talent so much that he now teaches others!
Eric is a shy young man with a very caring heart. He started learning about art from his DSP, who was a former teacher. He never knew how much he could do, and the beauty he could create, until then.
His painting skills have progressed so much that with some positive encouragement he offered to share his skills with a few others. The wonders of Zoom have enabled him to connect with new friends and their staff. Some friends are still quarantining at home and this was a wonderful opportunity for them to interact safely!
Eric recently started teaching very young students, with parental approval, how to paint pictures and learn about the wonderful world of colors. He has also been meeting new adult consumers who also have artistic talents to share. This new endeavor has truly expanded Eric’s socialization and communication skills.
June 15, 2021
By Cheryl Steenerson, PFK Bluegrass Region Coordinator
As 2019 rolled in, I began to realize just how few opportunities existed for our adult consumers to socialize and make new friends, after they left school. That’s when the 3rd Thursday Social Club was born.
Though PFK started it, we only organize and execute it, because we wanted to open it up to all adult IDD folks in the Bluegrass area. Any adult on the Waiver can attend, along with their staff.
Though 2020 got hijacked from us, 2019 saw lots of fun activities and attendees. On the 3rd Thursday of each month we would gather for a meal and a fun afternoon activity like visiting the Bluegrass Airport Museum, touring Rebecca Ruth Candy Factory, The Movie Tavern, 3D printing, pizza and bowling, crafting and painting. Each event is kept low cost and each participant pays their own way, if there is a fee.
Now that 2021 has arrived, we already have one done! On Thursday, May 20th, the group met at the Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort for an outdoor picnic and tour of the grounds.
It was a perfect day with plenty of sunshine and even a light breeze! Participants brought their own lunch and then followed the map to see numerous astounding works, complete with information signs explaining the work and the artist. Everyone had a blast!
Several of the pieces were interactive and invited the participants to touch, climb and even sing within them. The park is a nonprofit that runs on donations. A golf cart is available for use for those with mobility issues. They also have classes and events, both day and night, to introduce visitors to a variety of art and even understanding the night sky!
Many events for 2021 are in the works including Shaker Village (Harrodsburg), The Living Arts & Science Center (Lexington), lake fishing (Richmond) and the River Cruise (Frankfort). Suggestions for events are encouraged from the participants.
September 13, 2019
Path Forward of KY nominated Dejuana Trumbo for the DSP of the Year award for the annual KAPP (Kentucky Association of Private Providers) confernece. Dejuana was selected as one of 8 honorable mentions. Dejuana is an excellent DSP who has served in our field for 10 years, the last 4 being with Path Forward. Dejuana’s quality of care is unmatched, according to guardians and supervisor. Dejuana typically works long hours with two participants, helping them progress goals daily.
The CLS participant has gone from a service life to a full community life, in less than 4 years. As her own guardian, this participant needed to learn to read, manage money, cook, get her driver’s license and manage a home. She has succeeded in all goals! After learning about healthy relationships, the participant found a life partner and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy last year. Dejuana guided her through her pregnancy, from parenting skills to visiting her at the hospital (50 miles away), during the birthing process, on her own time. To say this DSP goes above and beyond the call of duty is an understatement. A shy young lady, unsure of herself in every way, the participant blossomed into a woman with a life and family thanks to the hard work and caring heart of Dejuana.
Her 2nd participant is noncommunicative, and requires assistance with all ADLs. Confined to a wheelchair and on a pureed diet, this participant enjoys listening to music and going outside on nice days. Prior to Dejuana coming into their lives, the guardian was the sole caregiver. The number of positive accolades from mom on Dejuana could fill a book! Mom has felt comfortable enough to restart her social life, after 25 years! The participant has had zero care issues and laughs with joy every day. Dejuana Trumbo is truly a gifted Direct Support Professional that succeeds in making a positive difference in the lives of her participants every day of service.
August 19, 2019
Creating a Beautiful Space!
By Tammy Ritchie and Eric Fitzpatrick
Creating a beautiful space is hard, especially when starting from scratch! Eric’s new home needed a garden, according to Eric because he loves watching things grow. The space was cleared, supplies purchased and the work begun. Eric learned how to use pruners, shovels, rakes and a wheelbarrow. It was hard work and Eric never complained. He choose the plants and put them in place. A bird feeder and bath was added for feathered friends to enjoy. Eric loves maintaining it and the new garden, after creating such a beautiful space!
By Jo Grayson
When I was a college professor teaching English composition courses at Eastern Kentucky University, I never put much thought into what some of my students called “green therapy.” My students would enthusiastically write about the benefits of extra recess time in elementary school as many of them would go on to become teachers of young children who need to have that time outdoors. As I would read on my own, I would read the many benefits of “green therapy" even for adults who have several disorders ranging from Attention Deficit Disorder to Depression. So when Chelsea and her friend Eric asked if I would help them build a garden, I was happy to oblige. I felt that this would be a good opportunity to learn, not only about growing your own food, but also to be able to use these plants in the kitchen. As a project my consumer and I were able to learn many things, including what building materials are required to build a raised flower bed. Together, we were able to choose a design we liked from Pinterest and have some professionals help us with using the heavy equipment required. We were able to look at prices to build the most cost effective space. Chelsea and I were able to learn how long it takes to build such a garden. She and Eric were able to choose what plants they wanted to grow. We learned about planting things too early or too late and what effects wildlife can have on a garden. We also learned about soil and fertilizer. After the garden was built they picked out what they wanted to grow, we were able to plant herbs and some vegetables. All in all, this project has helped Chelsea learn new things as well as being a fun project that will benefit Chelsea for years to come, as we learn each year from trail and error.
October 16, 2018
The Waiver Coordinators attended the KAPP conference on September 26-28th at the Marriot East. This was the 4th annual conference and this year’s theme was Mission Possible. The Waiver Coordinators attended several interesting breakout sessions regarding Guardianship, Medicaid Eligibility, Preventing Burnout, Stable Accounts, and Technology Enabled Supports. Path Forward of Kentucky is a proud member of KAPP, which stands for Kentucky Association of Private Providers.
On the last day of the conference, KAPP host an Annual DSP Celebration Award Ceremony. It is everyone’s favorite event by far because you get to see and hear about the amazing work done throughout the state by DSP’s! Path Forward’s FHP Butch Bene was honored as 1 of 8 Distinguished DSP Award winners! Butch is an outstanding DSP, who consistently goes above and beyond by thinking outside of the box. It is an honor to have Butch Bene as part of our Path Forward family. He truly exhibits the PFK Way and we could not have been more proud to celebrate Butch at the Award Ceremony.