St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center in El Cajon became an official Live Well San Diego partner on September 9th, 2017, at the grand opening of their new pool facility. The pool is just one of many amenities that the center offers to serve adults with developmental disabilities with the highest quality services and opportunities for growth.
Jennifer Navala, Health Promotion Specialist and Intergenerational Coordinator for the County of San Diego, met with Shannon Nicole Buxton on a sunny September morning at the Center, along with Erica Macht, the Volunteer Coordinator. Shannon is a participant who has been attending St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center for nearly four years, an active member of the swim team, and the newly elected Advocacy President. Her job at the center is to help the new consumers feel comfortable at the center by mentoring and assisting them around the facility. With all the activities going on throughout the day, such as art classes, computer skills training, community integration, gardening, and much more, there is always a need for a kind hand to guide others.
As Advocacy President, Shannon says, “It’s not about the title; it’s about showing other people what you’re capable of doing in the community and being there for people.” These are wise words from the new President, who also helps to put on events to raise money and donations for organizations like the San Diego Food Bank, Salvation Army and the National Cat Protection Society. In addition to her duties as president, Shannon is also on the St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center swim team, which had their first home meet in their new pool on September 30th. Shannon was a part of the winning relay, but she says humbly, “Everybody is a winner!”
When the pool isn’t being used for swim meets, it is being utilized for a variety of other activities for the patrons, such as water aerobics, multiple sclerosis classes, and swim lessons. The pool was reopened after a year of construction, giving patrons, and in the future, the public, access to a beautiful facility to exercise in, meet new friends and thrive.
As Shannon says, “We can make a difference in our community,” and we can tell that she will be a driving force in that change.
Article submitted by Jennifer Navala, Health Promotion Specialist and Intergenerational Coordinator for the County of San Diego.
Advocacy President Shannon Nicole Buxton