Beth Will found independence, the love of her life
If you asked her what Mountain Valley Developmental Services has given her in the past 17 years, she would say an introduction to an independent lifestyle made complete with the love of her life. After graduating high school, Beth Will felt just like any other high school graduate. She wanted to get out of the house and experience life on her own. Feeling the way most parents do when their children get ready to leave the nest, Beths mother wasnt ready for her daughter to move out and face the world all by herself.But Beth never planned to take lifes journey on her own. Even before graduating high school, she began investigating the services offered through Mountain Valleys programs for developmentally disabled individuals. She found they could give her a place to live independently and help her maintain a safe yet self-determining lifestyle.She convinced her mother and said, Mom, I just gotta fly.She moved into the first womens independent living apartment owned by Mountain Valley in 1981, and later met her life companion, Reggie Jaramillo.Hes the love of my entire being, Beth said.Moving about from one apartment to another, it wasnt until she moved into one of Mountain Valleys group homes that Beth realized how great living on her own could be.She and Reggie became friends, and even roommates, staying up as late as they wanted, talking about whatever they wanted, and not having to worry about keeping parents awake. But the one day Reggie flashed her a grin while playing footsie under the table let Beth know she was where she was supposed to be and who she was supposed to be with.I could never live without Reggie, Beth said.For 17 years, Beth and Reggie have loved one another, taking advantage of everything Mountain Valley employees have to offer, most recently helping them into a home of their own.Five years ago Beth and Reggie moved into one of Mountain Valleys apartments, complete with their own dishwasher and plenty of space for Beths stuffed animals.The employees at Mountain Valley help Beth keep up with finances, medical records and goal setting, and make sure shes living her life exactly the way she wants independent, and free to raise her voice whenever she wants.Ive done a lot of growing up in my 20 years at Mountain Valley, Beth said.Ive learned to have a voice, and done things I didnt know I could do.If it wasnt for Mountain Valley, Beth said, Id be still sitting in my moms house, alone, twiddling my thumbs.
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Grace Wesseling is an animal lover, a cheerleader of seven years and another soon-to-be graduate of Bridges High School, class of 2021.