After high school, time spent in the community is hard to find for adults with intellectual disabilities. There are limited resources and no one thing is the perfect fit for all individuals. At Pathways we make a point to provide a variety of community-based activities to allow students to give back, explore, and have fun.
A true Pathways student favorite is Special Olympics. The Pathways Panther team offers swimming, track and field, and golf. This month Pathways student Scott came in first place at the area golf tournament hosted at Mohawk park. “It was so much fun showing what I could do and representing Pathway,” said Scott. Scott competes with a unified partner and is one of four Pathways athletes on the golf team. Scott is also a member of the swim team and track and field team.
The swim team was the first Special Olympic team formed at Pathways. For years now student athletes head to the pool Thursdays and Fridays in the fall. At the end of October and the beginning of January the team competes at regional and state games. This year swimmers brought home first place in the mixed-gender relay and numerous individual events. “It was so much fun! I won two first place ribbons,” said student Terah about her most recent victories.
While Special Olympics keeps students’ bodies active, field trips challenge the mind. A 2019 student favorite was their trip to the ahha Art Museum in Downtown Tulsa. Their immersive art experience kept students’ heads turning and was a ton of fun for everyone.
Our other community outing serves the soul and the Tulsa community. Each week students go out and serve at local churches, assisted living homes, the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, and the Ronald McDonald House. The Pathways volunteer team sings for and spends time with residents at assisted living homes giving both groups a chance to interact socially, play games, and build friendships. “Holly has two ladies that she tells me about when she is done volunteering. She has definitely made friends there,” says Pathways parent, Tracy Green.
Pathways provides students transportation for all of these off-site activities and students enjoy the journey just as much as the activities. Students love loaded onto the shuttle and exploring their community. Trips are paired with a fun playlist of worship, Disney, and pop music with Christmas music sprinkled in once November hits. No matter when in Tulsa they are, Pathways students are having a great time.