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Lots coming in July! Summer workshops, PathFinder and Project Inspire!

Carlsbad, CA - As the spring sessions of PathFinder and Explorer come to a close, our Beacons team is busy gearing up for July! The Beacons' and San Diego Workforce Partnership Project Inspire employment initiative launches on July 1, our summer exploration workshops begin July 5th, the review process begins for our fall Pathfinder vocational workshops, and Club Beacons social events will be held on July 9 and 23!

Photo of Jason Marks
Jason Marks, M.Ed.

For summer, Beacons will host 16 workshops, filling 190 slots to teach everything from flower arranging to photography! (Our largest summer ever!) Our wonderful team will take our past workshops to a new level for summer fun and learning.

To support our program growth, this past month Beacons welcomed two new staff additions Jason Marks, M.Ed. (our new HR and site manager), and Abbi Bringolf (a new vocational instructor), and hopes to hire three more instructors by fall! A big welcome to Jason and Abbi!

Photo of Abbi Bringolf
Abbi Bringolf

Beacons has also partnered with the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) to officially launch its Project Inspire recruitment program to hire and train individuals with developmental disabilities as employees of Beacons. Starting July 1, 2022, Beacons will begin recruitment of individuals for onsite positions such as instructional aides, office clerks, graphic designers, and other positions that will be customized to meet the needs of the employee and of Beacons. (Click here for Beacons' Project Inspire Interest Survey).

Employees will be supported with training and case management to develop skills in Beacons' supportive environment. Beacons looks forward to expanding our workforce through this creative employment solution! Thank you SDWP!

Creative Design trainee Reo Franks created our Beacons summer flyer!

The application process for our fall PathFinder vocational training session has also opened. PathFinder workshops are approximately four months long for individuals interested in employment. San Diego Regional Center (SDRC) clients may attend PathFinder and Explorer workshops at no cost to themselves if eligible for SDRC or other funding through the state's Lanterman Act.

PathFinder Director Tyler Hershey, Creative design trainee Joe Kellet, and Assistant Director Courtney Smith showcase the program Kellett designed for Supervisor Desmond's North County address.

This fall PathFinder will offer creative design, customer service and entrepreneurial workshops starting August 19 through December 16. To expand training opportunities and to support the creative ventures of those it serves, Beacons has purchased a large scale printer for the printing of fine art posters and canvas works. Cricut tools for a wide variety of creative projects were also purchased to make shirts, mugs, monogram projects and more!

Workshops are capped at 10 trainees, with a low instructional ratio of approximately 3 trainees per instructor. (Workshops fill up fast so please complete an application soon if interested!) For the last two sessions, 100% of PathFinder trainees who wanted employment were able to secure employment within 30 days (if not earlier) of completing their workshop.

Explorer and Love on a Leash

Explorer, Beacons' other vocational training option, also helps trainees find employment. Explorer breaks down PathFinder's curriculum and training into smaller increments and is taught over an approximately 20 month period instead of four months. (Explorer is close to full for fall, though some spots may still be available on Mondays and Wednesdays.) Explorer also offers creative design, customer service, soft skills, and more training options to help trainees explore and develop skills for the workplace. Since opening in April 2022, Explorer's Director Bethany Britt has developed job opportunities for approximately 50% of Explorer's trainees.

In just four years since it opened, Beacons has been recognized by County Supervisor Jim Desmond for "Making Dreams a Reality," earned a certificate of commendation from Assembly Member Tasha Boerner Horvath, and named as a Nonprofit of the Year finalist two years in a row. The social division of Beacons - Club Beacons - will offer two July social events. On July 9th, Club will host an outdoor summer picnic at Poinsettia Park from 4 - 7 pm. On July 23rd, a Comic Con themed event will be hosted. Sign-ups for Club start 9 am the Monday before the Saturday event and events are typically full with a waitlist so those interested should sign-up quickly.

Photo of Bethany Britt
Explorer Director Bethany Britt, M.Ed.


Our Board is working hard to secure a van to help with transportation needs, host a family friendly fundraiser in November (tentative date November 12, 2022), and begin its capital campaign to secure funding for a larger space. Efforts are also underway to develop more business partnerships to expand community employment opportunities for our trainees. (If you have a business and are looking for new talent, please contact us!)

Much more to come so stay tuned! (More photos below) Click here for the Beacons news page.


Club: Employment: Explorer:


Telephone: 760-448-6230. Beacons, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located at 6150 Yarrow Drive, Suite E, Carlsbad, CA 92011.


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