As we move forward through 2021, we are kicking off a new blog series called Where are They Now?
In 2001, Jordan joined Vista’s Engage Program in order to support his independence. As a Vista member for 20 years, Jordan spoke to us about his Vista journey so far.
Jordan, a Vista Engage Member living along the Connecticut Shoreline
Where do you live and who do you live with?
I live in my own apartment by myself in the Vista community. Before this, I lived in an apartment with housemates. Even though I live by myself, my neighbors are Vista members too.
What are some of the things you wanted for your life that led you to join Vista?
I wanted to be independent. That meant having a job and living in my own place. I started a new life for myself by coming to Vista.
What are some skills you have learned, and what are you still working on?
I had to work on accessing the community. I can take public transportation now—in a few weeks I’m going to start using the bus again, which I stopped doing during COVID. I learned to do things like laundry on my own. I learned how to cook too, although it’s something I still work on sometimes with my LSI [Life Skills Instructor].
Ann is my Life Skills Instructor—we go grocery shopping and do banking things together. I used to have more LSI instruction for cooking and banking, but I don’t need as much support now. I wasn’t handling my money that well at first. Now I’m fine with banking and budgeting; you just have to be careful about how much you spend and what you spend on.
Jordan in his kitchen
What are you proud of? How have you surprised yourself?
I am proud of the fact that I have accomplished a lot from being a kid in Long Island to moving down here. It was quite a journey for me because I did not know what to expect; I was anxious when I initially made the move. Now I’ve gotten used to this area and made friends.
What do you do for community involvement, work, volunteering, or job development?
I work at Walmart. My job is with the carts and helping customers put their groceries in their cars. I’ve been at Walmart for 18 years! I like it; I like being with everybody and talking to people. I’m extroverted, so it’s a good job for me. That’s also probably why I like volunteering with Vista’s Admissions team too. I sometimes talk to prospective families and show them my condominium during their tour of the campuses.
Can you tell us about an average day for you? What sorts of things do you do in your free time? Can you talk about your social life?
On an average day, I relax in the morning before working at Walmart. My shifts vary but it may be a seven- or eight-hour shift. I have life skills instruction with Ann. In my free time, I like to go to the movies or hang out with my friends. I like going to my friend Logan’s place where we usually chat or watch a movie or sports (like the Yankees or the Brooklyn Nets games). I hang out with some of my friends who are also my neighbors too. Normally on the weekends, I would go to the YMCA and work with a trainer, so I will start doing that again once I feel comfortable with COVID.
Jordan relaxing in his living room
Are there any Vista staff you feel a strong connection with?
Yes, I like working Ann. I’ve known her for two years and we’ve done great things together. She makes the process easier for things like grocery shopping.
What does Vista mean to you?
I just like being around the community and being near people I connect with. I like my condominium because it is easy for me to be a part of the Vista community here. We have social gatherings together normally and I know there’s going to be more once COVID is less of a concern.
Are there any fun facts about yourself that you would like to share?
My family and I like to travel. One of my favorite trips we’ve done was a cruise from Vancouver to Alaska. We went to Ketchikan, the salmon capital of the world.
I skied all the time as a kid, which is why I have some ski decorations in my kitchen.
We hope you enjoyed learning about Jordan!
More to come!