My Happiness Matters to Me

Lindsay, Sierra and

For most people, feeling happy and finding life meaningful are both important and related goals. But do happiness and meaning always go together? While happiness and a sense of meaning often overlap, they also diverge in important and surprising ways.

As one might expect, people’s happiness levels were positively correlated with whether they saw their lives as meaningful. However, the two measures were not identical – suggesting that what makes us happy may not always bring more meaning, and vice versa. To probe for differences between the two, it’s important to ask detailed questions about people’s feelings and moods, their relationships with others, and their day-to-day activities. Feeling happy was strongly correlated with seeing life as easy, pleasant, and free from difficult or troubling events. Happiness was also correlated with being in good health and generally feeling well most of the time. However, none of these things were correlated with a greater sense of meaning. Feeling good most of the time might help us feel happier, but it doesn’t necessarily bring a sense of purpose to our lives.

However, having enough money seemed to make little difference in life’s sense of meaning. People who are wealthy tend to be happier, however, they don’t see their lives as meaningful, while people who are not that wealthy tend to see their lives as more meaningful. This might be related to having a purpose in life, doing things that are important to and for them, being connected to people and stronger social ties among those that matters. Perhaps instead of saying that “money doesn’t buy happiness,” we ought to say “money doesn’t buy meaning.”

Not too surprisingly, our relationships with other people are related to both how happy we are as well as how meaningful we see our lives. Feeling more connected to others improved both happiness and meaning. However, the role we adopt in our relationships makes an important difference. In addition, spending more time with friends was related to greater happiness but not more meaning.

When it comes to thinking about how to be happier, many of us fantasize about taking more vacations or finding ways to avoid tasks. However, some tasks which don’t make us happy can, over time, add up to a meaningful life. Even routine activities – talking on the phone, cooking, cleaning, housework, meditating, emailing, praying, reading book and balancing finances – appeared to bring more meaning to people’s lives, but not happiness in the moment.  In conclusion, happiness can be attained in things which we already have but don’t realize the true meaning . Value and cherish each moment of those precious moments!

By Shabnam Khan, Personal Development Worker at Semiahmoo House Society

s.khan@shsbc.ca

Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community. 

The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.

Count Me In

Dave

Inclusion. The word struck me one day. What does it mean?

Sometimes we find the answers to the most abstract-idealistic questions in the most mundane situations. This nugget of wisdom is something that I stumbled upon when a friend of mine, (Let us just hide him behind the name “David” haha) was bantering away at the world. See, to understand what I am saying, you have to get to know David. He is this fantastic dude who kinda looks like one of the tough guys in comic books. His idea of greeting the people whom he values the most is to call them names like (Listen here you Old Goat! Old Prune!) and other weirdly creative ways of putting together adjectives and nouns. Also, his “Hello” is a market list of mean yet funny, terrible but hilarious – sounding threats that will haunt your dreams. Exhibit A: He says that his dream is to ride a Harley-Davidson Big Bike, drive to the horizon…to find me and run me over like a steam-roller would and make it look like an accident (sounds like a dream right?). Some days he wants to chop me like chopped liver and make me walk the plank and send me to Davey Jones locker and let Jaws eat me (how can I even walk the plank if I’m minced already right?). There are days when he wants to put me in a box, ship me to the North Pole, hangout with the Polar Bears wearing only my Speedos.  Mostly, he tries to send me to the moon! So there, you now have a taste of how Dave shows his affection.

So one day, Dave was trying “Pick on me” because apparently, I broke his heart into a million pieces and he lovingly told me that he will put me in the dumpster. ”I will put you in the dumpster!” this is how he will say it, sounding like a man on a mission. This happens as “rarely” as the sun rises in the East. This is like his “Good morning Jasper, how is it going? Let’s have a great day ok?” translated in words that we typically speak. See, for my good friend, him sending you to the dumpster is his welcome to the world. The catch is that you can only be sent to the dumpster if you #1 allow him to, #2 if he knows that you would not mind, (joking around with him) and #3 he feels comfortable with you. This is almost synonymous to #1 having your permission, #2 “him respecting you”, and #3 “him trusting and accepting you”. In the light of everything happening in the world, (all the hate and violence plaguing our newsfeeds, don’t we all need a little bit of Dave’s brand of dumpster treatment?

I jokingly asked him then, ”So Dave, who else will you put in the dumpster?” He then blurted out a list without second thoughts –I will put Doug Tennant there, Gordon and his guitar, Sandra and Heidi from Mcdonald’s, May, Tara, Debbie, Marvin, Little Guy Ed, Caite, Ed, Adel and George, Paulina, Denise, Sunny, Sachin and Ryan, Nolda – Pete’s sister, Lynne and Calgary, Jo-Ann and Teresa, Michelle, Denene, Dan and his tickets and the list goes on (it was like a roster of everyone we know but really, these are the names that Dave usually talk about in the truck while we drive around).

It then dawned on me; Dave was indirectly, wittingly, in his own unique way, talking about inclusion.  This is what inclusion is. It is one of those “Aha” moments in my life. I asked David, are you putting everyone in the dumpster? He said, “Yup, everyone”. I could not speak of what Dave’s vision of what that sweet-old place called the “dumpster” looks like but  I guess in his eyes, it is where everyone he knows can be together and really be together. No one is exempted. You can feel in his gentle blue eyes that he does not care where you came from, how you look like or whatever our world has set as a standard prerequisite to be welcomed in a community is. He just needs a dash of “acceptance, respect and trust” for you to be in his guest list.

Inclusion [in-kloo-zhuh n]

Noun

  1. the act of including.
  1. the state of being included
  1. putting everyone in the dumpster with no exemptions. Everyone is invited. It does not matter whether you are a member of the crew or the Executive Director or kitchen staff or a McDonald’s server, everyone will be thrown in the party we call “dumpster”.

The article seems to be oddly written and Dave seemed to be described in non-typical ways but if you get to know the guy, if you come across his path or if he has touched your life in one way or another, you will understand why I speak of him like this.

With his “underhanded sneakiness” he has taught me again a valuable message about life.

By Jasper Macabulos, Semiahmoo House Society

Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community. The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.

Compassion, Connection and Community

connections5

 

“It’s not differences that divide us. It’s our judgments about each other that do.”—Margaret Wheatley

This quote resonates with me particularly today in light of the Facebook post written by a mother who deduces that her son, Sawyer, was omitted from his classmate’s birthday party because he is different and who realizes that exclusion is a recurring pattern in his life. The mother of the birthday boy invited the entire class of students except for Sawyer, a boy with Down syndrome. The situation is touching and reveals that we still have work to do in fostering inclusiveness.

What if more of us could withhold judgement and, instead of allowing differences to divide us, we used them as opportunities to connect us?

Connections are the fabric of community as without connections, community could not be.  In that vein, another quote that reverberates with me is this one from Desmond Tutu, “We are different so that we can know our need of one another, for no one is ultimately self-sufficient. A completely self-sufficient person would be sub-human.” These wise and meaningful words evoke in me the notion that we are all connected and interdependent, regardless of diversity, and that, in fact, diversity contributes to serving one another, learning, growing and living holistically.

What if the hostess of the exclusive birthday party understood the value of opening her heart and mind and connecting with a boy like Sawyer? She would not have missed some great opportunities to model humanistic behaviours for her son and impressionable young guests, to avail herself with the delightful company of a diverse human being and to make a difference in everyone’s lives, including her own. And most importantly, she wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to create community.

In community, a passionate group of diverse people with a common purpose can work together to achieve seemingly impossible attainments and contribute to a better life for humanity. I see this phenomenon acted out every day through the work my colleagues perform at Semiahmoo House Society. I appreciate what they do and, as I do not provide direct services like they do, I can only support their efforts through collaborative work, another form of connection.

For those that miss the point on fostering inclusiveness, it’s never too late. They can always develop compassion, an essential ingredient in connecting a diverse community. That’s because when people have compassion, they can dislodge deeply entrenched prejudices, view situations differently and experience various perspectives. The great thing about compassion is that, with self-awareness and exposure, it can be acquired over time.

Thank you, Facebook, for connecting us by giving voice to Sawyer’s mother, affording us with a great learning opportunity and inspiring the development of a compassionate community. At the end, the mother of the birthday boy had a change of heart and invited Sawyer. By doing so, she has demonstrated her ability to learn and grow.

Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community. The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.

By Louise Tremblay, The Semiahmoo Foundation

 

10th Annual SHS and IG Golf Tournament

golf cropped

Come and have fun at our 10th annual golf tournament at the beautiful Morgan Creek golf course on September 1, 2016 and support people with disabilities. This fundraising event, which is in partnership with Investors Group, will benefit Semiahmoo House Society’s Recreation and Leisure Services.

The staff of the Recreation and Leisure Services provide a wide range of recreational programs adapted to the unique needs and abilities of youths and adults with disabilities, enabling them to participate in the same activities as other members of the community. These activities include music, theatre, dance, fitness, sports, camps and travel. As a result of their participation, people report feeling more confident, engaged, and included, as they try new activities and discover fresh interests in a fun and encouraging environment.

Family members have testified:

“The Rec and Leisure programs have made a considerable difference by increasing self-confidence and the ability to fit in. My daughter is now included, not excluded.”

“Because of Rec and Leisure, my son has seen his life transforming from a youth adventurer to a mature, well-developed and adjusted adult.”

Recreation and Leisure Services receive no program funding and are dependent on fundraising events such as this golf tournament and the generosity of our community.

Please purchase your tickets online today or email us at events@shsbc.ca and come down for a day of fun and games while making a difference in the quality of life of people living with disabilities.

Morgan Creek Golf Course is located at 3500 Morgan Creek Way in Surrey.

Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community. The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.

Make a Difference

R&L 16-06

As a result of the services offered by Semiahmoo House Society, many people with disabilities and their families report having life transforming experiences and an enhanced quality of life. This is because our staff is committed to delivering services in a person-centered way that takes into consideration the holistic desires, wants and needs of the participants by supporting them to direct their lives and make their own informed decisions.

Person-centered practices are also employed by the staff of our Recreation and Leisure Services which offer a wide range of recreational programs adapted to the unique needs and abilities of youths and adults with disabilities, enabling them to participate in the same activities as other members of the community. These activities include music, theatre, dance, fitness, sports, camps and travel. The participants report feeling more confident, engaged, and included, as they try new activities and discover fresh interests in a fun and encouraging environment. Recreation and Leisure Services receive no program funding and are dependent on the generosity of donors like yourself. Please give generously and make a difference in the quality of life of people living with disabilities.

Any contribution, no matter how or what, helps the inclusion of persons with disabilities in our community. Please donate by going online.

Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and support to people with disabilities and their families in the community. The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.

For more information, please contact Louise Tremblay, by e-mailingl.tremblay@shsbc.ca.

Thank you!

 

Beachy!

Sierra beach accessible

You’re on White Rock beach. It’s hot and sunny. You put on your sunglasses and slap on the sunscreen. You sit back on the luscious green grass to capture the rays. You can only do that for so long.  As you observe the buzz of people frolicking and having fun in the water, you grow antsy and long to move about. You get up and walk toward the beach. You reach the dry sand and allow it to exfoliate your bare feet. Then, you dare walking into the cold water of Semiahmoo Bay.

You hear my narrative, look back and say, “Hey! That’s quite the banal scenario. Can’t you come up with a better story?”

Okay. You’re on White Rock beach on a hot and sunny day. You put on your sunglasses and slap on the sunscreen. You turn your fair-skinned face toward the sun while sitting back comfortably. This posture satisfies you for a while until you observe the buzz of people playing on the sandy beach and splashing in the refreshing water. You long to join them, but you know that you’ve arrived to your furthest point. You face the reality of your mobility issues and your inability to navigate the sand and water.

You hear my narrative, look back and say, “That’s quite the banal scenario. The Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo (SAS) have a much better story, you know.”

SAS are a group of people who have particular interests in promoting inclusiveness in the community and bettering the lives of people with disabilities. SAS meet every month to deliberate about important issues and take action. As part of the group’s objectives to make the world accessible to everyone, SAS members initiated a project to make White Rock beach accessible to people who have mobility issues so they can experience the sand and water and participate in fun activities with their family and friends as opposed to longingly observe from the fringes. “People in wheelchairs have a hard time going on the beach,” says Sierra Dean, self-advocate.  “The new chair will let them have fun on the beach like everyone else”.  Alex Magnussen, SAS Chair, concurs by saying, “No one should spend their whole life saying they’ve never been on the sand at the beach.”

SAS researched various wheelchair designs and price points and identified a few options that would be suitable for their project. After developing a budget including the cost of acquiring the wheelchairs and keeping them in good repair, SAS concluded they needed $2,000 to launch the project. Therefore, they embarked on a fundraising campaign by selling lightly worn clothing donated to them  and hanging flower baskets and by making an email appeal to Semiahmoo House Society’s constituents. Thanks to their tenacity and the generosity of the public, SAS met their fundraising goal within a month!

The good deeds of the community didn’t stop there. SAS and their beach accessible wheelchair project were on a karmic course with the intervention of a community member and a local business.

As they were getting ready to purchase the first wheelchair, they were approached by a benefactor who offered to make an in-kind donation. SAS enthusiastically accepted the gift that would contribute to increase the inventory of beach accessible wheelchairs and make them available to yet more people.  “What an incredible gift, he has given us,” says Jill Glennie, SAS advisor. “This will go a long way to meet the objectives of the self-advocates.”

Having procured their first wheelchair, SAS had to figure out a convenient place to store their inventory and a transactional system to deploy it. Being resourceful people, they tapped into their network and landed at Feral Boardsports on East Beach where the owners immediately agreed to the agency. “As they learned about the project, the founder and his wife got 100% on board,” says Jill.

Much work still needs to be done until the beach accessible wheelchair can be offered to the public, but the self-advocates are determined to get the project to fruition. “We have a few matters to consider,” says Jill, “but the project will be going ahead. In fact, we will be promoting it on Canada Day near the tourism kiosk at White Rock Beach. Everyone is welcome to come and talk to us and learn all about it.”

All righty, here’s the new scenario. You’re on White Rock beach. It’s a beautiful day. You no longer sit on the periphery. You’re steering your wheelchair toward your friends who are enjoying a game in the sand and water. As you join in the merriment, you high five one of them who hands you a Frisbee.

At that moment, you look back at me and give both thumbs up to the creativity of the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo, the contributions of generous donors, the collaborations of the owners of Feral Boardsports and a community that came together.

By Louise Tremblay – The Semiahmoo Foundation

Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community. The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.

Recognizing Acquired Brain Injury Services

Rod and.jpg

This blog represents the content of a nomination letter written by Laura Shannon, a caregiver to a family member who has an acquired brain injury. She submitted the kind words as part of her application to nominate Semiahmoo House Society’s Acquired Brain Injury Services to the Fraser Health Community for Everyone Recognition Award, in the Agency Award category. (An agency, through which policies, programs, and practice promotes independence for individuals with an ABI while maximizing personal capacity (not limited to rehabilitation).

Semiahmoo House Society was the winner in 2010 and although the organization was not chosen this year, it was still a winner in Laura’s eyes. For this reason, she wanted to share her words in this blog.

*   *   *  *  *   *

thankful

The Semiahmoo House Society’s Acquired Brain Injury Program located in Surrey operates a drop in program on Tuesdays and day programs on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of each week.

The drop in is what it sounds like. People with acquired brain injuries are welcome to drop in to socialize and have a meal at a minimal cost. They play games, listen to music, enjoy and share a commonality with others. A person with a brain injury often suffers the opportunity to socialize after their injury due to the challenges they face. This is a good place to work on that.

Sylvia Hoeree is the Program Coordinator. She works harmoniously with Melodie Lane and Rod Field at the drop in and the day program. It would be wonderful to see these three caring and compassionate people recognized because of their commitment and dedication to individuals who have had their lives altered in their prime with an acquired brain injury.

Acquired brain injuries are often misunderstood and people fall through the cracks. They don’t always get the help they need as they often can’t advocate for themselves. The Day Program, under the guidance of Sylvia Hoeree is very person centered and considerate. It is alert to the needs of those individuals who attend. People with brain injuries often have physical, cognitive, speech (aphasia), social, memory, and advocate difficulties. At the program, they are listened to and issues are resolved or solutions found. Clients are “understood” here and given the utmost respect. Friendships are formed: needs met; self-confidence regained; goals and personal growth are encouraged; new talents are discovered.

The program includes social time, music therapy, and discovery in arts and crafts, cooking, games, computer time, discussions, outings and celebrations. I am sure I have missed something. The point is that the program encourages people who have acquired a brain injury to realize their full potential and to work towards their independence. They are encouraged to explore choices that may be different than what they were used to or to find alternative ways to follow their hopes and dreams and to not give up because others may not understand them. Many of these people have been deserted by family and friends due to a lack of understanding of their challenges. There is not enough public information out there. At ABI they get the understanding. This is a fun group, you will hear much laughter. Being part of the group is like being part of a “family” because everyone cares about you.

Most of the people attending the program are comfortable talking about their daily challenges, knowing that they will not be ignored, that the others who attend “”get it”’ and that it is a place where you will be respected.

One of the annual highlights of ABI is the Yard Sale held at Sylvia Hoeree’s home. Sylvia, Melodie and Rod go above and beyond to make this work by collecting and sorting the many generously donated items that arrive at ABI. It’s a good group effort and everyone can be as involved as they like. The sale event raises enough funds to take the group to a special pre decided upon outing. Last year a Vegas Night was organized and it was a huge success. Vegas came to ABI. I would like to thank Sylvia, Melodie, Rod and Anthony who often fills in at the program and is an asset to a well-oiled machine.

As the caregiver of a family member with an acquired brain injury, I wish for the continued success and support of this program. It serves a very necessary need for those people with an acquired brain injury. Sylvia, Melodie and Rod need to know that they really make a positive difference for ABI.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to recognize them.

Sincerely,

Laura Shannon

Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community.  The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.

 

Reciprocal Connections Make the Community Stronger

When I met with groups of people we support at Semiahmoo House Society (SHS) to get their thoughts and input for our organizational philosophy statement, one idea was repeated over and over at all of the meetings: people wanted to opportunity to give back to their community. We made this thought part of our official philosophy with the inclusion of the statement all people have the right to give back to their communities through volunteering and helping others.”

 The desire of the people we support at SHS to give back to the people of their community speaks to the reciprocal nature of relationships. People want to help, and not always be helped. As an organization, we try to shift the paradigm of the relationship between the community and people who have disabilities from one of charity to one of reciprocity, where all people benefit.

Our desire to have reciprocal connections with our community is demonstrated through the buildings that we develop and run. Out main services and administrative building, the Treehouse, was built with the expressed purpose that it would be offered for use to the community. For this reason, we have welcomed other not-for-profit organizations, such as SurreyCares (The Surrey Foundation), to use the building, and invited members from the general community to use the beautiful west coast styled building for everything from music lessons to weddings. We are also building Chorus, an inclusive apartment that will be ready for occupancy in September, 2016. This apartment, through its inclusive nature, demonstrates reciprocity with the community, as 51 of the 71 rental homes are for people from the general population, at affordable rates.  Both buildings benefit the people we support and the general community. We share what we have for the benefit of all.

Chorus almost done

Chorus Apartment features inclusive housing that will benefit all citizens of Surrey

As Executive Director, it’s important that I also give back to the great community that supports SHS. For this reason, I participate in many Surrey/White Rock community initiatives and entities. I am a Board member of the Surrey Board of Trade because it’s important that SHS plays a role in a strong and vibrant business community, a business community that in turn hires people who have disabilities as employees. I sit on Surrey’s Local Immigration Panel because it’s important to contribute to a group that is supporting the inclusion of refugees and immigrants, some of whom have disabilities. Many staff members also contribute to their community as representatives of SHS and this ‘giving back’ makes us stronger and more resilient by creating connections with our community that will help us and the people we support in the future. We cannot preach inclusion for the people we support without practicing inclusion of other groups from the community into our work and social spaces.

After hearing the people we support during the creation of our philosophy statement, the Board created article 2.4.1 of our Ends (Ends is the Policy Governance term for the mission of the organization). End 2.4.1 states that “People have volunteer opportunities.”  This statement becomes part of the marching orders of the organization and we ensure that we support people to volunteer in a variety of ways in the community if that is something they choose to do. Some organizations and services were people have volunteered or currently volunteer include Meals on Wheels, Surrey Urban Mission Society, The Vancouver Zoo, and the BC Wildlife Federation. People who participate in our services have also collected recycled bottles to raise funds for children with disabilities in Haiti and the Self Advocates of Semiahmoo (an independent group of people dedicated to advocating for the rights of people who have disabilities) recently led members of the White Rock/South Surrey community in a drive to have beach wheelchairs available for all users of the areas beaches.

Sierra beach accessible

Sierra checks out one of the beach wheelchairs donated to 

the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo led drive

We have the ability to make stronger and more inclusive connections if we share our gifts, talents, and amenities with others in our community.

By Doug Tennant, Semiahmoo House Society

Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community. The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.

 

 

Magnificent Couldn’t Be any More Better

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Like many young men in their twenties, Ryan Robson has already had a few jobs. Some of which fared very well, while others had a weary effect on him. He recalls an employment experience where he became increasingly stressed and despondent. It occurred to him at the time that he didn’t fit in with the organizational culture and wasn’t offered sufficient hours to sustain himself financially. After some soul searching, he made the decision to quit. “I felt a weight had been lifted”, he says.

While he was taking time to focus on getting mentally healthy again and ponder about his career path, he heard of Semiahmoo House Society (SHS) through a connection of his. After consideration, he applied and was accepted to enrol in SHS’ Employment Training and Support (ETS) programs where he learned new job skills, including marketing himself to potential employers. While attending his programs at ETS, he demonstrated such hard work and dedication that his supervisor determined he was ready for the next step: employment. So, he introduced Ryan to Shari Hauptkorn, Job Developer with SHS’ Customized Employment (CE) services.

Shari assessed him and quickly recognized that he would be a suitable candidate for her services which entail facilitating employment for people supported by SHS. During one of their meetings, Shari described a job opportunity to Ryan and asked him if he would willing to interview for it. “His whole face lit up,” says Shari. “He couldn’t stop talking about the possibilities for employment and how much it meant to be financially independent. He excitedly agreed and we both made the necessary arrangements.”

While riding in the car with Shari, who was driving him to meet the potential employer, Ryan talked about the importance of staying optimistic, no matter what life threw his way. “Can I tell you something?” he asked. “If you only focus on the good things, then life can’t be any more better!”  Ryan’s positive outlook paid off and he got the job.

Now employed and earning a living, Ryan can dream of a future where he can move out of his parents’ home and get his own place in Cloverdale or Langley. He even envisages the possibility of getting married to his girlfriend, Katrina, whom he’s known for 20 years. “We’re kindergarten sweethearts”, he says with an enchanted smile. “She’s very sweet and highly caring. She loves cats so much that she works at the cat shelter in Langley.” Ryan and Katrina like to stay active by going swimming, bowling or walking. They also enjoy going out for dinner and watching movies together.

When asked about his learning experience at SHS, Ryan describes it to be “the most magnificent.” In fact, what’s truly magnificent is the power of this young man’s buoyant life philosophy to find his place in the world, to overcome obstacles and to stay the course.

By Louise Tremblay, The Semiahmoo Foundation

Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community. The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.