Aspire of WNY’s Community and Independent Living (CILS) Division Celebrates 1st Community BRIDGES Graduation!

On November 30th, 2022, Hayley, William, George, and Michaela were Aspire of WNY’s first graduates from the Community and Independent Living (CILS) Community BRIDGES 1.0 program! Community BRIDGES, through CILS, helps individuals with independent living skills, community learning, and creating community connections. 

During the past 11 months, these individuals traveled throughout the community, learning skills to help them live as independently as possible. During one outing to a local gym, they learned how to stay healthy by working out using different machines and weights. William loved this so much that he found a new favorite gym and bought a year membership!

” Before the BRIDGES program William lacked confidence but now, after graduation, his confidence has sky rocketed”

Other experiences included going to the Salvation Army and partnering with Aspire of WNY’s very own ADAPT Fashions to learn laundry skills. They also rose the NFTA buses to learn how to navigate public transportation. But one of their favorite things was planning a whole dinner menu, grocery shopping for that dinner, and cooking it for a local church!  

During their time in BRIDGES 1.0 they have gained knowledge that will help them in their next chapter, BRIDGES 2.0.  This next step will allow them to do the life skills they have learned more independent then ever before.

During graduation Hayley, William, George and Michaela were able to talk about their favorite activity completed through the last 11 months. Then, they each received their graduation certificate of achievement. “Before the BRIDGES program William lacked confidence but now, after graduation, his confidence has sky rocketed,” said William’s father.

To learn more about the Community and Independent Living and BRIDGES Program click here to read through Aspire of WNY’s overview of services and opportunities.

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