Click the video above to see a slideshow of photos from this year’s TADAA program!
This year, our TADAA Summer Volunteer program hosted 32 high school and college students, who provided over 1,000 volunteer hours to L.A. GOAL in our art studio, custodial program, and adult education program.
We are so proud of the TADAA program and the work it does to educate young members of our community about the abilities of people with developmental disabilities!
As the summer came to a close, we asked several volunteers to share about their experiences. Read their beautiful words below.
Jacqueline Hernandez, Teen Volunteer
“I have known Vicky for about 4 years now, and throughout those 4 years, there is never a day that she doesn’t fail in making me smile. From the first day I walked into LA Goal, I feel as if Vicky and I immediately established a special bond. She’s very intelligent and observant when it comes to emotion and attentiveness. Whenever I’m sad or distant, she’s usually the first one to pick up on it, and she then immediately attempts to make me laugh or pay attention. Vicky shares her secrets, plays peek-a-boo, and happily states my name to make me smile. She’s taught me to appreciate every “peek-a-boo” and “secret” life has to offer, because sometimes, those are the moments that can brighten up any cloudy day. I am extremely grateful for LA Goal and all the members because this organization is proof that with determination, love, and lots of positive reinforcement; almost anything is possible”
Jesus Raya, Teen Volunteer
“This summer was my first summer working in the TADAA program at LA Goal. It could possibly be one of the best summers that I’ve ever had in my entire life due to the many things I learned. Every Monday and Thursday I helped out in anyway way I could at the art program. There the LA Goal members were taught everything from painting to embroidery. I was surprised every time I went because there I saw some of the best art I’ve ever seen in my life. One of my fondest memories I had during my time in the TADAA Program was when I spent time working with Natalie one of the members. We instantly clicked through our love for music. While the members are doing their art they listen to music from a radio. To my surprise Natalie and I knew every single song that came out of that radio and we weren’t afraid to show it by singing and dancing along in our chairs. It was a great experience working at the TADAA Program as it has completely changed my entire life.”
“Jesus is a really nice friend. He is really kind. He works with me on Thursdays in the art program. We talk and love to sing together. I am really happy that I meet him”
- Natalie, L.A. GOAL Member
Israel Egziabher, Teen Volunteer
“Robert has been the best, top-class if that’s achievable. Robert’s work ethic & effort are just so amazing that you rarely find it. Everyday Robert cares with a motivation to work, a desire that makes him want to put in hardwork. Every time I give him an assignment, he gives me his 100%. He completes the job so well. I sometimes don’t even check. Robert has that never quit mindset, he stays locked in and focused when doing his job, and performs his job at a high level. I love Robert, Robert loves me, he loves his work and I appreciate it.”
“Me and Israel work in Custodial on Wednesdays. He tells me to clean the toilets and clean outside. We vacuum all the offices, kitchen, and the hallways. We make piles of trash outside in the gardening on Tuesdays. He is really nice and funny. He is my friend.”
- Robert, L.A. GOAL Member
Ryan Kimura, Teen Volunteer
Dear David, Michael, Robert, and Andrew:
It has been a great pleasure working with all of you. With your dedication and hardwork, I enjoyed doing custodial, and most importantly talking about the Dodgers! I’ve established great bonds with all of you and hope to do the program when I return. Being in L.A. GOAL has taught me how important it is to work hard, be responsible, and help the community by doing volunteer work.
I like him very much, he is a cool guy.
I like his style when he works with me.
He helped me a lot.
He feels like family, like brothers.
He helped me when we read together.
We garden on Tuesdays.
We clean in custodial on Wednesdays
- Michael, L.A. GOAL Member
I like working with Ryan in custodial on Wednesdays. We talk about sports, like the Dodgers and the Lakers. Ryan supervises me mop and sweep the restrooms. I also work with him in gardening on Tuesdays, where we get to taste the tomatoes.
- David, L.A. GOAL Member
I Think he is a nice person.
I think he is handsome.
It was nice having him in custodial.
I think he is one of the best teens I have ever met
He makes me laugh because he is a funny guy.
- Andrew, L.A. GOAL Member
A big thank you to all this summer’s volunteers, and a special thank you to Maria Zamudio Lopez, TADAA Program Coordinator, for all her work this summer, including helping put together this blog post!