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Cristine's 50-Year Journey with Gatepath

News for 04.03.18
04.03.18
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Cristine's 50-Year Journey with Gatepath

By Bryan Neider, CEO

“Gatepath has changed over the years, but for me it has always been about getting out in the community. I have come to realize that Gatepath is part of my family. . . this is where I belong.”          – Cristine

While catching up with Cristine, a member of our Community Access program based in Redwood City, I learned that she just celebrated her 50-year anniversary of being involved in Gatepath programs. What an incredible milestone!

Cristine began her journey with Gatepath right after her graduation in 1968 from El Camino High School in South San Francisco. When she joined Gatepath, Cristine participated in our employment training workshops.

One of Cristine’s first jobs was for aquatic therapy hospital outpatients. “They were really happy with my performance and asked if I would fix lunch,” said Cristine. “Then they had me help in different ways, by folding laundry and suits for the aquatic therapy patients.”

When Gatepath moved to a larger building, Cristine accepted a position with consistent working hours. She then took on a position at a local McDonalds where she worked for 11 years. “My experience at Gatepath, such as being in workshops, helping other participants, and independently completing a variety of tasks and responsibilities, helped me at my job,” said Cristine.

The goal of our employment and job training services is to allow individuals to develop strong professional, behavioral, and social skills that aide them in seeking employment position, as Cristine did.  During her career, Cristine went on to be recognized with multiple employee awards for her exceptional performance. Thankfully for us, she has remained involved with Gatepath throughout the years.

Cristine is currently part of Gatepath’s first Community Access group for seniors. Participants in this program volunteer in the community, take classes at senior centers and participate in health and wellness activities, along with other rewarding and interesting activities that improve their quality of life.

“I love going out in the community on day trips and having the opportunity to make new friends,” Cristine said about her outings with Community Access. She also enjoys group Zumba classes and loves hanging out with friends from other Gatepath groups and programs at our Monday Bowling League.

While we were talking, Cristine took out her schedule for the week and told me about her recent visit to Golden Gate Park to see the gardens. And, pointing to Thursday on the calendar, she explained that she’s involved in a regular-scheduled cooking class.

Cristine also loves to attend the EventPath parties, where community members from across our programs celebrate special occasions and socialize. When we talked about the most recent Valentine’s Day party, Cristine said, “I had the best time of my life! A friend was telling jokes and had us laughing the whole night long.”

Thank you, Cristine, for being a fantastic member of the Gatepath community for all these years and for sharing your laughter and smiles with all of us. We are fortunate to be considered a part of your family and honored to have you as part of our family too.