Zac has been on our minds more than usual lately because his smiling face lights up the home page of our shiny new website. It was just one year ago that Zac moved from his family home in Fort Smith to the Life Styles Residential Campus in Fayetteville to participate in our Launch collegiate experience, affiliated with the University of Arkansas. In fact, the photo gracing our home page was taken in front of the apartment he initially shared with his roommate Andrew.
Life Styles' Residential Campus is a closely supervised environment structured to support residents in mastering the skills needed to live their most independent lives. At Residential, community meals are prepared, medications are dispensed by staff, and a dedicated site supervisor addresses resident needs 24-7, among other services.
Zac flourished at Residential. So when a nearby townhouse became available off-campus, all involved felt both he and Andrew were ready to fast track the next step towards independence.
Together, the pair of 20-something Launch students require only minimal staffing from Direct Support Professionals, take their daily medications independently, and have even been caught sorting laundry on their own initiative (which is more than can be said for many young men their age).
"Zac loves his life," reports Kelly Milner, Director of Supported Living. Luckily his parents have thick skin—he's turned down family visits and trips to revel in his newfound independence and spend time with his new friends.
In fact, both Zac's and Andrew's parents have been instrumental in this success story, says Kelly.
"They have really pushed their sons to be independent and are thrilled with each achievement they make. That kind of support really boosts confidence and fosters a can-do attitude."
In a very short period of time, these young men have truly proven themselves. We're certain they'll be starring in many more success stories in the months and years to come.