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Sasha - Loads Of Fun

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Participants > Elizabeth - Her Own Activity

This story is written by Elizabeth's father:

She talks most about her opportunity to do theater (for the last few years she has participated in 'Center Stage').  Her sister has done theater for a couple years and Elizabeth takes a lot of pride in the fact that she has her own theater activity to do like her sister.  She knows she has Out & About on Thursdays and looks forward to being picked up by the staff and having an activity that is all her own.  She definitely feels special to have that day each week with her friends at Out and About. She really loves being on stage in front of an audience.  I'd have to say her experience performing in Center Stage played a part in her desire to participate in her school talent show last spring where she got up on stage in front of the whole school and sang along to Taylor Swift's Shake it Off. 

Elizabeth participating in a group activity for a prolonged period of time and not wanting to leave the group has been a work in progress over time.  In working with the staff, she now is given a certain number of breaks that she can use if she chooses and there has been great progress in this area.  There have been times where staff members reported to us that she hasn't even asked to take a break.  



Participants > Gillian - Learned to be Nicer

I love Out & About because it gives me a chance to get out of the house, I’m not in my room all the time anymore.

Out & About has taught me a lot. I learned how to be nicer to people. This is a big group and sometimes the participants gossip about each other. The more I come the more I get to know people. The more I spoke up and met people, the more I wanted to be nice to people rather than talk behind their backs.

I’ve been with O&A for about three years. I’ve made a lot of friends since then. I knew a couple of people who attended Out & About already, but it was nice to meet some new faces. I love that they started a dance class, Movin’ and Groovin’. I like how she goes through all the dance moves for us to learn. I’m getting quicker now, I used to be really slow, but now I’m getting the hang of it.

I like the Horsin’ Around activity. They teach us how to be kind to the horses and how to take care of them. Being with the horses helps with my anxiety because they are so sweet with everyone. I love animals, and being able to get to know each of the horse’s personalities is really rewarding to me.

   



Participants > Molly - Fun With Friends

I’ve been doing Out & About a long time, not sure how many years. I like to have fun with friends, hang out, and do things I haven’t done before. We work out in the gym, talk about what we’re doing on the weekend, and go on fun field trips on the weekend. We saw Christmas lights at the Gardens. I learned how to get healthy and exercise, like play basketball, ride the bike, and wash my hands. Out & About lets me meet new people.

I like acting in Center Stage and my favorite character was “the dog.” I can’t wait to do the Adult Center Stage Performance in the winter.

      



Participants > Shaun - Lots of Friends

“I like Water World and Elitch Gardens. I like to play basketball with my friends at Healthy Living class. My friends at Out & About are Ross, Nick, Charley, Jordan, and Lee. I like to dance with Lee at dance class.” 

Shaun mentioned that Out & About reminds him of school when he comes to the different classes and he likes to learn. The Healthy Living class reminds him of P.E. when he attended Erie High School.

  



Participants > Kyle - Learned to be Healthy

I like to have fun with friends and staff at Out & About. We hang out, laugh, and joke around. My friends are cool and smart.

I like bowling. My best score is in the 100s.

I like the Healthy Living class and I learned how to have healthy snacks like cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, and cucumbers.

I am doing Centre Stage again this year and it will be my 8th year doing it. There’s a lot in my head with the performance, memorizing lines and remembering the stage blocking. My favorite character to play was the Ninja Turtle.  

  



Participants > Valleri - Try New Things

My favorite activities are Healthy Living and Horsin’ Around. I like to move around a lot and get some exercise, playing basketball and Knock Out. I play in a basketball league through the city of Boulder and like having a chance to practice my basketball skills at Healthy Living.

At Horsin’ Around, I learned the safety stuff, like to stay away from their feet, backside, and mouths. I got to ride two times this year.

One thing that is special at Out & About is hanging out with my peers. Also, I get to try new things.

   



Participants > Jordan - Happy Thoughts

I like bowling. I like to get strikes and spares. I got five strikes.

I like movin’ and groovin’ and to dance with Bridget in the studio. I have fun when I dance fast and it is good exercise. My favorite kind of dance is a hip hop march. Out & About helps me be a happy camper and to have positive thoughts.

    



Participants > Sasha - Loads Of Fun

I like playing the sports, going to Center Stage, going to art, and going swimming. Center Stage is when we go on stage and say our lines and put on a performance.

My most favorite time at Out & About is going swimming. That means we go into the pool and have fun. Sometimes I bring pool toys with me. I love to go down the slide and I love to go to the hot tub.

I have loads of friends at Out & About. What I like is that they’re my friends. I say hi to them and shake their hand, and then they’re my friend. I get to see them every time I come to Out & About. My friends make me happy. If a new person came to Out & About, I would tell them what the activity is and then we would be friends! If someone is nervous to come to Out & About, I would say “there’s nothing to be nervous about, Out & About is fun!” Everyone is friendly and the instructors are friendly.

   



Participants > Evan - Fun Is Fun

I’ve been with Out & About for over 10 years. I like all the people that I see when I come here, just walking around, doing a lot of different things. I like getting out of the house, it’s always good for me.

We get to see art galleries, do Halloween shenanigans (laughs), bowling, and Water World. I try to find new friends and talk to them. I’ve made a lot of friends at Out & About. I like talking with them. To have a friend makes me feel good and gives me someone to talk to and to not feel alone. Sometimes, I feel alone. I’ve learned how to talk to people and help myself feel included.

At Out & About, I’ve learned when to take space and take breaks. I’ve learned how to handle tough situations.

Fun is fun. I love to have fun, trust me. If you give me a chance, I’ll be able to have fun. I think Out & About is fun. I think it’s awesome.

 



Participants > Brittany - Learned New Ways to be Healthy

I’ve been doing Out & About for four years and I like the Saturday night outings. We’ve gone to Rockies games, swimming, pretty much anything. I like to go out with my friends and stay up late. I’ve made tons of friends. I told my best friend, Kacie, about this program and now that she comes, it gives us a chance to hang out more.

In the Healthy Living class, I learned new ways to be healthy, what to eat, and to exercise a lot. This week, we went horseback riding. It was fun and challenging and something I haven’t done in a while. I liked it.

                                                                                                                                                                            



Participants > Kacey - I LOVE Riding the Horses

I love Out & About, I love the staff, and everyone here. This is my first time doing the Horsin’ Around activity and I like grooming them and getting out there with my friends. I learned how to comb and groom them, and put their girdles on. I LOVE this activity. My favorite part is getting on the horse, Mischief, and riding him.

I also like the  Movin’ and Groovin’ class and it’s my favorite time to dance with everybody and have fun. I’ve made a lot of friends. I like being here with everybody!

 

           



Participants > Lee - First Time for Everything

I have been at Out & About for almost three years. I got to go horseback riding and attend festivals in Denver for the first time ever since being in this program. I love all of the activities, every class I'm in. I learned how to make friends and stay positive. The friendships I've made here are very important to me. 

 

                        

 

 



Participants > Terra - Made A Lot of Friends

Out & About gives me a lot of opportunities to meet people and I’ve made a lot of friends since. It also gives me a lot time to do stuff and keep me occupied, since I have a lot of free time outside of Out & About. My favorite activity is “Horsin’ Around.” There’s a horse at the ranch that I’ve known since he was a baby and he’s 7 years old now. You get to ride horses, paint them, and groom them. I don’t mind hanging out in the stalls either, it doesn’t stink too much (laughs out loud).



Participants > Jordy - Everyone Is Helpful and Friendly

My favorite classes are The League, Market & Music, and Center Stage. I like playing games in The League because it's fun. I liked the Strider bikes and bowling. 

I like buying food at the Boulder farmers market on my own. It's fun and I use my own money. We listened to Salsa music. 

I like Center Stage because I liked the play and I liked saying my lines nice and loud. Quincy (instructor) told me that I said my lines nice and loud! I liked “Rocking New Years Eve” in the play. We sang New York, New York! John said "Welcome to the Rockin New Years Eve Center Stage play!" It was really neat. I liked the way they dressed up in their costumes. Everybody went to the play!!

I like the people at Out & About. They are funny, nice, friendly & helpful. I like when they pick me up from home and give me a ride home. I think everyone should meet the people at Out & About!



Participants > Mike – Fun and Worthwhile

      

Mike – Fun and Worthwhile

Mike has participated in Out & About activities for several years. This quote was shared by Mike’s mother.

Out & About has been a big part of our son Mike's life, and that of our family. He gets to have fun in the community and we know he is well taken care of. I can't imagine our lives without Out & About for Mike. The staff is very caring and invested in Mike having fun and a worthwhile experience.



Participants > Ian – From Swimming To Skating

This story comes to us from the mother of Ian, an Out & About participant.

  

Ian has been with Out & About for about two years now and he has thrived in his social behaviors based on the interaction and guidance from several of the staff. 

He has been learning with each activity he has been part of; from Swimming and Bowling to Center Stage and Ice Skating. The variety of the activities he has been exposed to has generated his interest in other topics, besides trains, and communicating with his peers. He expresses himself more and will let anyone of the staff know what he would like to do. He occasionally sneaks in a hug too! For us this program has been extremely positive in showing him what all he could do and how he is able to communicate with others effectively. Thank you for this program and we look forward to continuing this relationship. 



Participants > Emily – Meeting Milestones

Submitted by Patti Micklin, Out & About Parent and Executive Director of the Imagine! Foundation

When Emily was born, doctors inundated us with all the milestones should would not achieve. It was rough terrain to navigate for sure, and services in New Orleans were few and far between. We felt very much “on our own.” So when Hurricane Katrina hit my native city, and so many we loved suffered, it was the best thing that could have happened to our family. We set out to find a new community that would support Emily and our family in this journey.

We found Imagine! online – and read about Out & About. Therapeutic programs like summer day camp and after school community activities? Seriously? We were sold! We moved in 2006, and Emily was enrolled in summer day camp. When school started, she participated in weekly swimming at the Bob Burger Rec Center. She practiced behavioral skills in community settings, and she learned to swim independently! She made friends and gave everyone a special nickname. She achieved these milestones and more, and allowed us to celebrate all that she is, not all that she is not.

Today Emily is 21, and while she continues to work on these skills in other programs, we are so grateful she had Out & About in her life.

Check out the video to learn more about Emily’s story.

 

 



Participants > Miah – Overcoming The Odds

The following video features the touching story of Miah, and how Imagine! and Out & About helped her overcome a great personal challenge.



Participants > Meredith - Learning To Thrive

 

In this video, Meredith’s parents talk about how Out & About’s programs offer her a safe environment where she can learn and thrive.



Participants > Chris - Finding His Place

Here’s a touching video about Chris, an Out & About participant who truly blossomed during his time there.