Diana Gentis became a part of the Pathfinder Services family when the world was a much different place. Even just 25 years ago, the options for those with disabilities to receive adequate care and be a part of their community were few and far between.
She remembers vividly no longer attending school in the 3rd grade because she was not keeping up with the other children. What wasn’t identified at the time was that Diana could not hear or see well. It wasn’t until after she was a part of Pathfinder Services that her caregiver noticed she was not responding when he would speak to her. After getting her glasses and hearing aid, Tom asked her to read a word in a book. With pride and a big smile on her face she said, “I read the word.”
Another of her first memories with Pathfinder Services is of helping to calm a crying infant while volunteering in the child care room at State Street. Fast forward 20 years and Diana now has the opportunity to be self-employed by selling her acrylic paintings, jean purses, and knitted baby hats she creates during her time spent at Creative Abilities. Diana’s art, The Spring Path, was even featured and auctioned off at the 2015 Pathfinder Services Annual Dinner. This was an event that made a big difference in her life. She’s quick to tell you about the money she received and has stashed away for a possible trip to visit family. But even more important is the amount of pride in her voice when she talks about being a part of the evening. “I was nervous going to that dinner. But it was a nice time. I talked with a lot of different people and I even got $200 for my painting.”
Diana has also found a home with Pathfinder Services. After living with various family members and in other group homes, Diana now resides at her Ash Street Front Porch home where she has her own front porch, bedroom and fully accessible bathroom. She also has faith in the staff who care for her, often going for walks and shopping at Walmart with her direct support professional.
Although the path was winding and full of bumps for Diana, she eventually found a safe and comfortable place with Pathfinder Services. A place where she can live and be a part of the community. A place where she has trust in the staff who care for her. And a place where she can flourish though her works of art.