For our upcoming blog series, we are thrilled to introduce you to some Vista students who have reached a significant milestone this year...our Vista 2021 graduating class!
We hope you enjoy!
For our first 2021 Vista graduate, we would like to introduce you to Maya Bachmann. Maya grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and Ridgefield, CT, enrolling at Vista in 2017. She currently lives in the Discover transition condominiums to prepare for living independently in the greater shoreline community after graduating. Maya spoke with us about her Vista journey thus far.
Maya Bachmann, Class of 2021
What are you known for at Vista?
I am known for being a Student Ambassador. This means I am a leader because I support others in the Discover Program and give tours to prospective families. I’m going to miss it when I graduate! I started training to be an Ambassador about 2 years ago after helping out with the Exploring Independence summer program. It was something I worked hard towards and I am proud that I have been able to represent Vista.
As a Student Ambassador, Maya met with prospective families in person and virtually while supporting her peers in the Discover Program. In the second image, Maya is sharing messages of inspiration with her peers at the dormitory.
What are some of the goals you worked towards while in Vista’s Discover Program and what are you still working on?
When I first got here, I really struggled with my emotions and how to name my emotions. Suzanne, my Program Counselor at the time, played such a big part in helping me name them. We used posters and an emotion wheel to help me work through them. Now, I do it without the visual aids. I saw the emotion wheel recently and it reminded me of how much I used to rely on it. I got a new copy of it made so I can look at it and remember how far I’ve come.
I also learned how to organize my room and do my laundry while in the dormitory, which helped prepare me for moving into the transition condominiums.
In the transition condominiums, I work with my Life Skills Instructor to cook in the kitchen using the stove, the George Foreman grill and the griddle. We prepare and go grocery shopping together using a portable scanner to help me stay on track with my budget, something else I am working on.
What are some of your proudest achievements while at Vista?
I recently got a paid job! I work for Ventures Business Services in property care. We do things like beach cleanup and property maintenance. I like being outdoors, being active and working with my hands, which I found out by volunteering at job training sites at two horse farms, Ray of Light Farm and High Hopes.
As I said, becoming a Student Ambassador was a big achievement for me. I also worked so hard to move into the transition condominiums. It took time for me to be ready for the change and then the move date kept getting postponed because of COVID and an unexpected snowstorm. It took time to get used to the condos too…I remember waking up the first morning and wondering where I was because I was so used to the dorm. I realized I wanted to live independently when I first started at Vista, so I’m proud to be getting ready to live out in the community and to be graduating this year.
What are you looking forward to after graduation?
I can’t wait to have a place of my own in a new community. I’ve always been someone who likes to be connected to their community and give back to it. I have been volunteering at the Food for All Garden in Clinton and I plan to keep doing that.
Maya is an avid horse rider and volunteered at multiple horse farms during her vocational training
What are some of your hobbies and interests?
I like to ride horses, which I like to do about once a week. I have a passion for horses that started around middle school. They’re very calming and riding them can be a coping skill for me. I’m confident on a horse and able to disconnect from my thoughts. The horse I ride is named Capal. He’s such a goof! He’s like a little kid sometimes, but we really get along.
Some of my other hobbies are dancing and going to the beach. My family and I like to go to Maine in the summer to sail and kayak. I also love Disney, a friend I met at Vista and I were able to go to Disney World together a few years ago.
Bonus question: What is your favorite food?
I have a couple! Pizza and mac and cheese are my favorites.
We hope you enjoyed learning about Maya and hope that you will join us at Vista’s 2021 Graduation Ceremony on Friday, August 20 at 1:00 PM at The Kate in Old Saybrook, CT!
Stay tuned to meet our next Vista graduate from the Class of 2021!
To register and attend our 2021 Graduation Ceremony, click here!