Methodist Mission Home Expands Opportunities to Offer Help and Hope for Young Adults with Disabilities

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Methodist Mission Home & Southwest Center for Higher Independence Announce Partnership with San Antonio Food Bank to Offer Culinary Training for Students

SCHI students celebrating graduation.

The Southwest Center for Higher Independence is a part of the Methodist Mission Home organization that focuses on supporting and serving disabled students by teaching skills for independent living and by offering vocational training programs.

An estimated 13% of the Texas population over the age of 5 lives with some type of disability, according to the Center for Personal Assistance Services (Disability Data for Texas: 2009 American Community Survey). This percentage of the population – more than 1 in 8 Texans – constitutes almost 3 million members of the state’s total inhabitants. That number is greater than the populations of Austin and Houston combined.

The Southwest Center for Higher Independence (SCHI) is a part of the Methodist Mission Home organization that focuses on supporting and serving disabled students by teaching skills for independent living and by offering vocational training programs. One new and practical way that Methodist Mission Home is readying SCHI students for employment is through a newly formed partnership with the San Antonio Food Bank to equip the students with culinary skills. Through this training program the SCHI students are learning to work with a variety of foods, as well as serve the community by preparing meals.

Using Methodist Mission Home’s own industrial-size kitchen as their classroom, students complete a 16-week training program under the guidance of Chef Jill Jurkow from the San Antonio Food Bank. As a final exam for the course, students plan, cook, and present a meal for their families, friends, staff members of MMH and SAFB, and other invited guests. At this time students are fully prepared for employment in a commercial kitchen or restaurant.

Students of SCHI are housed in a 50-bedroom dormitory on the 25-acre Methodist Mission Home campus in northwest San Antonio. Typically students remain a part of the SCHI program for 12 to 18 months. During this time, they learn skills for social development and independent living, receive work training, take part in study assistance programs, complete a comprehensive vocational assessment, and participate in a variety of recreational activities. Students of SCHI are young adults at least 18 years of age, and with some nature of qualifying need or diagnosed disability, such as deafness, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, high-functioning MR, or cerebral palsy.

The Southwest Center for Higher Independence, as a part of Methodist Mission Home, has been assisting students with disabilities for over 35 years. They recognize the range of emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges disabled individuals may face during the educational and employment processes. Visit MMHome.org/SCHI for more information on their assistance programs and to learn more about how Methodist Mission Home works to give God’s children a faith, a family, and a future.

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Cathy Walker
cathy@mmhome.org
210-696-2410
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