When it comes to choices, we all have decisions to make. Where to live? What to eat? What to do for fun? That was the theme of the 2019 CHOICES Conference,which took place on Friday, April 5th, at the San Joaquin County Office of Education.This was the 32nd annual CHOICES conference. Decked out in their “Wheel of CHOICES 2019” t-shirts, our attendees and volunteers displayed and spoke about many of the choices that they make in their lives on a daily basis. The audience heard from talented individuals like PJ Swan and Mohamed Rashid about employment choices that they have made. They also heard from Cameron Rood about some of the difficult choices that he has to make daily, which ultimately has led him to making more positive choices to better his life. Diana Powell shared her story of self-advocacy and some of the choices that she has made to build her life, find her voice, and inspire others. Other highlights of the day included a Micro Business Fair and a lunch time performance by The Advocates that even had VMRC Executive Director Tony Anderson up out of his seat and dancing.
The event was co-hosted by self-advocate Tim Cabral and Dena Hernandez from SCDD North Valley Hills. There were even a few awards passed out, as Andrea Hawkins was recognized as the winner of the CHOICES t-shirt design contest. Also recognized was poster winner Tawnya Plants, and video winners Frank Galhano, Brittany Harper, Nicholas Smith and Yesenia Pulido. “The conference is always such a positive fun event. It’s inspiring to hear the success stories and to see and hear the response from attendees. Everyone leaves with a smile on their face,” said VMRC manager and CHOICES Committee member Wilma Murray. The CHOICES conference is put on annually by the CHOICES Institute, which is a non-profit, education organization with the goal of providing education through conferences like this one, as well as various training seminars throughout the year.
For more information, please contact Doug Bonnet, Special Assistant to the Executive Director, at 209-955-3677, email DBonnet@vmrc.net.
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