Amigos in the Community - Program
A Day in the Life of 'Amigos in the Community'
Matt and Josh - Summer 2011
We did go to the zoo like we planned and we had a blast, he kept trying to get me to go on the jungle gym ..... we've gone to the mall a couple times too, Matt really seems to enjoy walking around looking in the different stores. And we went and saw the last Harry Potter movie since those are his favourite books/films. I think Matt enjoys being able to get out and picking the things he wants to do and having a friend to just hang out with.
Laura and Jessica - Spring 2011
My name is Laura and my name is Jessica and together we make an Amigo pair. We have been apart of Amigos for almost 2 years and have become good friends. When we hang out together, we like to go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients to make dinner together. We also like going for walk and playing games on the Wii. Being in Amigos is fun because we got to meet new people and do different things together.
Shannon and Katie - Winter 2010
My experience with my amigo has significantly influenced my life. She has a radiant and memorable personality. Whenever I leave Katie's, I can still hear her laugh. She has a great sense of humour and is a very caring person. Her Grandma, Marion and caretaker Jesse, have been amazing supporters.
Shannon shared this account with Katie and her Grandma…and they all agreed it’s been a wonderful experience.
Amigos in the Community is a program that provides goal oriented opportunities for young adults (18-30) with an intellectual disability (participants) to participate regularly in recreation and leisure activities with the support of a peer without a disability (connector).
Through an application process, leisure and recreational interests are identified and both applicants are screened to ensure safety and suitability. Our coordinator then matches Amigo participants and connectros based on shared mutual interest.
We ask for an 8 month commitment to ensure the development of meaningful relationship, and to form connections in the community.
Amigos get together 2-3 hours every other week to enjoy their chosen recreational and leisure activities. They also email, text, or talk on the phone during alternate weeks to develop friendships based on mutual interests and respect. Every few months a group activity is planned bringing all Amigos together to meet, share stories and have fun! Check out what's coming up in our Events Calendar!
Want to get involved!? Go to our Forms page to download an application.
Still have questions? Go to our Contact Us page.
YOU...whether you are an Amigo Participant, or an Amigo Connector!
Amigos are young adults who want to be involved and believe in a community where everyone belongs!
Amigo Participant: A person, with an intellectual disability, who wants to meet with an Amigo Connector to get active and involved in recreation, sports or leisure activities in their community.
Amigo Connector: A person, without an intellectual disability, who wants to connect an Amigo Participant to their community through common interests in recreation, sports or leisure activities.
Why Young Adults?
Young adults, generally prefer to hang out with their friends and do things. Given a choice - most youth will choose to spend time with their peers.
Leaving high school is a transition time for any youth. High school is a time with peers, structure of school and programs. Upon leaving high school, many youth with intellectual disabilities are looking for meaningful ways that they can engage with and contribute to their community.
It is a natural time to develop independence and we believe that spending meaningful, self-directed time with peers is an effective way to build community involvement and lasting friendships.
It is a well known fact that people who are active lead healthier and happier lives. Recreation and leisure type activities can provide many benefits to an individual. Social interaction and relationship development can lead to:
- life time friendships
- exercise can lead to a healthy body and mind
- being involved builds a stronger community
- recreation provides identity, and a sense of belonging
Why are Amigos Important?
Amigos help to foster and reinforce a true sense of belonging. Amigos put in the time to allow friendships to develop naturally and to help connect each other to their greater community. With one good friend you can move mountains, and with the support of your community all things become possible.
Anticipated Outcomes of the Amigos in the Community Program:
- A shift in attitude toward individuals with disabilities as their visibility and participation in the community increases
- Enhanced Inclusion as young people raise their expectations of what is available to them
- More opportunities for young people to connect with others. The connection begins with one's Amigo and then broadens to include others
- Building Communities where everyone feels a sense of belonging
Last Updated (Monday, 15 August 2011 07:08)