Nine years ago, Indiana Rodriguez was a timid 21-year-old experiencing behavioral challenges when she joined our UPS family. As an individual with spina bifida, Indiana was hesitant to participate in activities around the house. Taking direction from staff was low on her list of priorities.
Fast forward to 2015 and Indiana has transformed into an outgoing, self-assured, mature young woman. No longer withdrawn, Indiana is now blessed with the gift of gab. She’s happy, independent and she continues to thrive.
Indiana makes grocery lists, assists with food shopping and meal preparation, and helps with cleanup. Staff have also worked with her to perfect her manners and social skills. Indiana is taught to treat others how she wants to be treated and to know the difference between right and wrong. “Please” and “thank you” are now regular words in her vocabulary, and she says them with a glowing smile. Online, Indiana is equally interactive – she’s a big fan of Facebook!
UPS staff who have witnessed Indiana’s growth say “you can’t help but to love her.” She’s become affectionately known as the Diva around the house because like any woman, she enjoys a bit of pampering. Trips to hair and nail salons are among Indiana’s favorite activities, and she travels there independently. Wherever she goes in the community, she always makes sure she’s well-groomed and dressed nicely.
Indiana’s sensitive side is displayed by her love of art and music. Both are therapeutic and have a calming influence on her. Indiana looks forward to the arts and crafts class she attends every Thursday and enjoys showing off her latest creative projects.
At Bright Harp, you’ll often find Indiana with her headsets on, grooving to her favorite tunes in her room which she keeps neat and organized. Her bedroom has become an oasis for Indiana and that’s exactly how staff envision it to be. Indiana even had the opportunity to choose the color of the room. She opted for Coronation Pink. A room truly fit for a queen!
Playing a part in the decision-making process gives Indiana a sense of accomplishment, a feeling that extends into the Day Hab Without Walls program she attends. She enthusiastically takes part in recycling projects and participates in Citymeals-on-Wheels. Just as UPS has made a difference in Indiana’s life, she wants to give back to the community and lend a helping hand any way she can.
UPS staff are proud of Indiana’s remarkable progress and are working to find her an apartment she can call her very own. Indiana turns 30 years old next month and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate!
Please join the UPS team in congratulating Indiana Rodriguez as our Individual of the Month!