The MENTOR Network

Success Stories

The Life He Always Wanted

Sean_group home_smallSean is enjoying life. An accomplished juggler and bowler, he is active in his local church. He loves listening to music to relax, especially the songs of Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac. In fact, music is a huge part of his life, and it has played a role in how far he’s come over the past two years.

Like many of the individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities Arizona MENTOR serves, Sean’s needs are complex, including mental health challenges that once made it hard to make friends and enjoy his hobbies.

Overcoming Complex Challenges

Before he came to Arizona MENTOR, Sean struggled with aggressive behaviors and hallucinations, for which he was briefly hospitalized. After being discharged, he moved into one of Arizona MENTOR’s Community Living Residences, also known as Group Homes, where he received support in managing his illness and developed social and independent living skills.

“We worked with Sean to educate him on his illness so that he understands what’s happening and what he can do when he’s having symptoms. Now he knows he can talk to us when he needs help, and that there are things he can do to help himself relax, like turning on his radio. Music helps him calm down,” said Gene Chambers, Program Director for Arizona MENTOR.

Sean Embraces Life

Since moving into his group home, Sean has developed social skills that have led to meaningful friendships at home and in the community. The MENTOR team also used Sean’s interest in juggling to help him improve his motor skills. He regularly goes on outings to the movies or the gym with his fellow residents, and enjoys playing basketball with his friends. Being more active helped him to meet a goal of losing weight and enjoying a healthier lifestyle—one that he plans to keep enjoying.

Sean’s mother, Debra, says that he’s done a 180 over the past two years. With improved health, increased independence, and the support of staff and friends in his residence, Sean is living the happy, fulfilling life he always wanted.

“Sean has grown up so much and come a long way since coming to his MENTOR group home. He is more like his wonderful self than I have seen since the onset of these problems. The improvement in Sean is an answered prayer,” Debra said.