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Looking for learning options to help

improve employment skills and expand opportunities?

Jan. 25 - May 21, 2021
Beacons will offer 3 workshops this spring:


1. Customer Service Skills, and

2. Creative Design Skills (2 sessions due to high demand)

(SDRC vendor number: PY1700, Code: 102, Subcode: SPR)

Persons who have classroom skills, an interest in employment,

and who can participate without disrupting the learning of others are encouraged to apply.

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Instructors onsite for the Beacons Customer Service Workshop

1. Forms required:


2. Contact the SDRC: Please request that your "IPP" (Individual Program Plan) and "CDER" (Client Development Evaluation Report) be sent to: Pathfinder@BeaconsNorthCounty.comRequest the addition of the vocational workshop to the applicant's IPP, and that a "POS" (Purchase of Service) request be completed and submitted to fund the workshop.


Click here for a sample letter that you can view and copy. For individuals in the Self-Determination program, please discuss inclusion of this workshop with your independent facilitator and SDRC service coordinator.

3. Intake Meeting: After the applicant has completed the above steps, our Pathfinder team will contact the applicant and/or her/his conservators to set up an intake meeting to make sure the workshop supports the applicant's IPP goals, the applicant meets the entrance criteria set forth in the application, and the applicant is interested in the employment goal of the workshop.

4. General Information

Workshop overview: All workshops are specifically designed with tools, best practices and pacing designed for individuals with developmental disabilities to optimize independent learning without the need for parental or instructional aid support at home or during our onsite workshops. Each workshop includes internet safety training, pre-and post assessments for each unit to measure progress, extra hours for additional instruction if needed or wanted to meet a level of proficiency, materials and/or licenses needed for the workshop, soft skills training, creation of person-centered plans for post-workshop transitioning, and more!

Ratios & Enrollment: Workshop ratios will be smaller during Covid-19, with an expected maximum workshop size of 6 trainees and 2 instructors. (If more than 6 are enrolled, additional instructors will be added to support the workshop). Workshops require a minimum of 5 trainees to proceed. In the event the minimum enrollment for a workshop is not met, Beacons reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a workshop, or offer a different workshop altogether.


Creative Design: Due to popular demand, this workshop will have 2 sessions: AM (9:30 - 12) and PM (1 - 3:30)

Customer Service: This workshop will be held daily from 1 - 3:30 pm.


Devices: If onsite, Trainees will be provided with a 15.6" yoga touchscreen Chromebook with a mouse accessory, but are welcome to bring their own device if they prefer. If a workshop is provided via zoom, Beacons has loaner devices for trainees who do not have devices available to use at home.

Materials: Each trainee will be provided with his/her own materials and sanitation kit for safe learning onsite. Zoom workshops will have individual kits for home use.

Questions? Email:

Seton Conley

Click here​ to e-mail

For the past year, Seton has shared her passion and talents to help teach trainees in the Beacons vocational workshops. She served as the primary instructor for the Beacons 2020 summer exploration workshops, and now serves as a lead instructor in the Beacons vocational workshops to teach Customer Service Skills, Entrepreneurial Skills and Office Skills. Seton has experience creating curriculum and teaching a wide variety of subjects, including ASL, photography, social media and numerous other virtual workshops. 

A graduate from California State San Marcos with a Bachelor's in Communication, Seton also has over 13 years experience working in child care and with individuals with developmental disabilities, and a demonstrated record of success in communication facilitation, and assistive and operational technology. Her technology background was critical in helping Beacons transition its vocational workshops to a virtual platform within one business day of the Governor's March shelter-in-place executive order so that trainees could continue their daily 3-hour instruction without delay or interruption. See, "Beacons, Inc. and MiraCosta lead the way in virtual instruction, while some districts have yet to launch." Seton also helps enhance curriculum with the creation of gaming options to optimize learning and engagement.


Seton is proficient in American Sign Language and works with individuals with communication deficits who are nonverbal or who have speech dysfluencies. Her warm instructional style, technology skills, and creativity empower our trainees by teaching positive life and social skills to help individuals with disabilities build bridges to their social, employment and educational communities.  

Tyler Hershey

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Tyler has spent the last decade using his personal and career experiences to support and empower individuals with various disabilities. Tyler served as an assistant coach for the Independent division of the San Diego Miracle League and volunteer for Shooting Stars basketball, founded Project Puzzle (an Autism awareness club) and was awarded the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education "Excellence in Supporting Students with Disabilities."

While pursuing his Psychology degree at San Diego State University, Tyler was an advocate for students with varying disabilities and planned school wide inclusive events as the Program Coordinator for Student Disability Services. While at SDSU, he also founded the Delta Alpha Phi international honor society.

After graduating from SDSU, Tyler relocated to Hawaii to continue his work with neurodiverse individuals in the school setting. After working in the district setting for 2 years, Tyler returned to San Diego to follow his passion and to work as an instructor with Beacons, Inc.

Tyler has been a valued member of the Beacons Pathfinder team since summer of 2020 when he started as an associate instructor for the Beacons summer vocational exploration workshops. He now serves as an instructor for our vocational training workshops with a proven record of successfully working with those Beacon serves. This past fall, Tyler teamed with instructor Seton Conley to teach our 16-week Customer Service Skills and Entrepreneurial Skills workshops. 


Tyler's experience, high energy, positive attitude and patience helps optimize each individual's growth during the Beacons vocational workshops. 

Courtney Smith

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Beginning in high school, Courtney sought out opportunities to meet and serve individuals with various disabilities, volunteering for A Night to Remember Prom and adopting a role as a Peer Mentor in Cathedral Catholic High School's Options Program. Courtney was so inspired by the individuals she had built relationships with in this field that she decided to continue her studies in Applied Psychology and Human Development at Boston College.

While at Boston College, Courtney was a Teacher's Assistant at the Campus School, which serves students aged 3 - 21 with low incidence diagnoses and provides a wide range of personalized educational and therapeutic services. Courtney was placed in a middle school classroom, supporting six students educationally, medically and emotionally. Outside of the classroom, Courtney found ways to volunteer for various organizations such as the Women's Center and the Center for Student Formation. 

Most recently, Courtney was working as a Behavioral Support Professional at an Enhanced Behavioral Support Home implementing interventions and skill building activities for women with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Beacons is excited to welcome Courtney as an Associate Instructor and Program Developer for the PathFinder team and to continue encouraging learning and positivity with the rest of the Beacons team!

Julio Gama

Click here​ to e-mail

Julio joins Beacons this spring as an associate instructor in our Creative Design workshop. As a cousin of a person with a disability, and as a former resource counselor/facilitator from another organization that supports individuals with disabilities, Julio supports our trainees with proven strategies, creative approaches and compassionate teaching.

Originally from Mexico city, Julio has lived in San Diego most of his life although he is currently pursuing a degree in Economics and Business Economics at Maastricht University in the Netherlands when not teaching. Julio is an avid sports fan (in his words "obsessed with all things sports-related") and surfs (former surf instructor), golfs and plays tennis (varsity tennis team) when not studying or working.


Julio loves Netflix, photography and food, especially foods made by Gordon Ramsey. He also has labradors who keep him company as he's dreaming about becoming a contestant on Ramsey's cooking show.


Beacons is excited to welcome Julio as an associate instructor in our creative design workshop, and looks forward to Julio sharing his humor, creative approaches and adventures with the rest of us!

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Monday - Friday, 1 - 3:30 pm

Trainees interested in community employment will learn:
workplace and soft skills such as cashier skills, soft skills and other tasks used in settings that require a high level of customer interaction (such as retail stores, grocery stores, restaurants, hospitality, animal care and more!);

develop person-centered plans to help shape their futures,

create interview & workplace accommodation plans,

train for (and take) the San Diego County food handling test, and

create websites for employment profiles to showcase earned digital badges and skill-specific certificates.

Job searches and completion of applications, 
interview practice, direct engagement with local employers, unit pre & post assessments and progress monitoring are all included.

Post-Workshop Goal Pathway(s):
Post-workshop pathways will be driven by each participant's person-centered plan and may include further education, paid internships, job coaching, competitive integrated employment and/or employment related volunteer opportunities.  

Cost: For eligible SDRC consumers, the SDRC will fund one workshop per session. Trainees with achievement levels of 3 for the majority of the units are not eligible to repeat.

*The Pathfinder Program was made possible through a 2019 Community Project grant from the National Foundation for Autism Research (NFAR), funding from the Qualcomm Foundation for technology and funding through the San Diego Regional Center for workforce training.

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(2 Sessions due to high demand)
AM session: 9:30 - Noon, M - Fri

PM session: 1 - 3:30 pm, M - Fri

Trainees interested in creative design will learn how to use graphic design programs and tools to make marketing materials, books, puzzles, websites, social media graphics and more as they work with others to develop their technical and soft skills. This project-based workshop will help trainees learn skills to work with real clients to possibly develop post-workshop employment opportunities


Trainees will also:

develop person-centered plans to help shape their futures,

work with templates to help them work with clients post-workshop, and

create websites for employment profiles to showcase earned digital badges and skill-specific certificates, and portfolios.

Pre & post assessments and progress monitoring for each unit are all included.

Post-Workshop Goal Pathway(s):
Post-workshop pathways will be driven by each participant's person-centered plan and may include further education, paid internships, job coaching, competitive integrated employment, and/or employment related volunteer opportunities. Ideally, the trainee will develop sufficient skills to make the trainee eligible for employment with the workshop client post-workshop.

Cost: For eligible SDRC consumers, the SDRC will fund one workshop per session. Trainees with achievement levels of 3 for the majority of the units are not eligible to repeat.



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Workshop Hours
Customer Service

9:30 am - 12 pm

Monday - Friday

Community Employer Meetings

Consent Form

Beacons, Inc.


6150 Yarrow Dr., Ste. E

Carlsbad, CA 92011

2021 Beacons Holidays

1/1: New Year's Day

1/18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

2/15: President's Day 

3/31: César Chávez Day
5/31: Memorial Day

7/4: Independence Day Holiday 

9/6: Labor Day

11/11: Veteran's Day

11/25 & 26: Thanksgiving

12/25: Christmas 

ATP Students: Under § 4648.55 of the Lanterman Act, the SDRC cannot pay for services for individuals aged 18 to 22 years if that consumer is still eligible for special education through a school district. Only if the IPP team agrees that the "consumer's needs cannot be met in the educational system" or grants an exemption under subsection (d) may the SDRC purchase vocational education services. Payment for a workshop can be done through a school district if the IEP team agrees that a workshop is needed to help a student meet his/her ITP transition goals related to securing competitive integrated employment or a paid internship. (Payment per a settlement agreement may also be an option). Click here to review the September 2019 policy letter from the U.S. Dept of Education on the importance of creating access to postsecondary opportunities.