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Making dreams a reality for a Beacons PathFinder artist

Director Tyler Hershey, artist Joe Kellett and Creative Design Instructor Courtney Smith celebrate Joe's program cover for Supervisor Desmond's State of North County address.

April 20, 2022, PathFinder trainee Joe Kellett was recognized at County Supervisor Jim Desmond's State of North County address for the program cover he designed through Beacons' PathFinder Creative Design workshop. Members of Supervisor Desmond's team collaborated with PathFinder Director Tyler Hershey and Lead Instructor Courtney Smith to work with artist Kellett after attending a Beacons open house and seeing samples of his work.

Beacons, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Carlsbad, CA that offers postsecondary vocational training for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in the areas of creative design, customer service, entrepreneurial skills, office skills, and other areas. Beacons was founded by families eager to provide a solution to address the nearly 86% unemployment rate in San Diego County for adults with developmental disabilities. Every trainee completing Beacons' fall 2021 workshops who wanted to work found employment within one month of completing their 4-month vocational workshop. Beacons also helped Kellett secure employment with Bitchin' Sauce, a Carlsbad business committed to working with Beacons to develop creative solutions to help individuals such as Kellett find employment. This year Bitchin' Sauce hired five trainees to support their food production division.

In 2021, Supervisor Desmond recognized Beacons for its work with a Certificate of Commendation for "Making Dreams a Reality" and approved grant funding to help with Beacons' second expansion in three years to meet the vocational needs of those with disabilities in North County.

PathFinder workshops are available to consumers of the San Diego Regional Center at no cost to the trainees through State funding under the Lanterman Act.

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