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Kern County Promotes Participant Lead Advocacy Groups

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Bakersfield, CA - PathPoint Kern County is making waves in the Bakersfield community. Through the mission of learning, living and building communities, PathPoint reaches individuals with disabilities and disadvantages, assisting each individual in their efforts to live as valued members of the community.

PathPoint’s services range from individual supported services, job placement and coaching, to vocational training and internships – such as the prestigious Project SEARCH. Through each of these outlets, every individual is given an opportunity to gain more independence and achieve self-sufficiency.

What makes our PathPoint services unique is not only the impact of our programs, staff and participants, but the fulfilling and independent lives the individuals we serve are equipped to live. An example of this is our client led Advocacy Council.

The Advocacy Council is made up of three individuals in our programs. These officials assist their peers by helping them solve problems and giving honest feedback. They educate peers about their personal rights and provide clarity to potentially confusing information. The council listens to programee’s concerns and are the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. These individuals increase understanding and communication between agencies, family, and those impacted by PathPoint services.

Benjamin uses his experience through living in a group home to assist those needing help with living situations. Dominik uses her experience of having limited mobility to help those who also have similar limitations. Lastly, Elisha provides knowledge of living at home and gaining independence from family. All three bring their own experience to the table to create a well-rounded council.

Shawn White, PathPoint’s Director of Program Services in Kern County applauds the Advocacy Council, sharing: “The Advocacy Council is an excellent concept for participants to exercise their independence. The opportunity to receive information that affects them and being able to discuss these issues and get feedback from them is empowering.”