Dick Pokorney and sis pic

To whom it may concern at Pathway Services, Jacksonville, IL:

Pathway Day training and Residential services has been life altering for my brother; and I am so very grateful that they accepted him into the Pathway “family.” My brother, Dick, was being cared for by an agency in another central Illinois community for many years. He had been emotionally and physically neglected, and even physically abused while under the care of the other agency; all is documented in the agency’s own and local police records. Despite many apologies and promises for improvement, Dick seemed continually anxious and unhappy in their care. As his sister who lives several hours away, I am unable to personally meet his daily care and social needs, yet I do want the best life can offer him. Pathway offered us hope.

Once accepted at Pathway, both the management and direct care staff welcomed us. Their understanding of his past experiences and willingness to learn his individual needs and abilities was immediately evident and included into his care planning. Through the expertise, patience, and persistence of the Pathway team, Dick is learning to manage some of his stress and gain happiness.

Transition, and change is hard for most of us, and Dick continued to struggle but Pathway’s caring attitude and deep desire for Dick to succeed in his new environment was evident. Our older brother Bobby, already attended and loved the day program, so I had every confidence Dick also would adjust, be safe and happy. I believe that Dick’s love for the people of the day program (and the opportunity of getting to ride the bus), gave him the motivation to eventually succeed in the residential program as well.
Dick may not understand everything, but he instantly senses attitudes of positivity, acceptance, and sincerity. My desire for my brother is safety, health, and happiness; through much patience and persistence from all levels of Pathway staff, Dick is generally happy, well cared for, and safe.

Although Dick is mostly nonverbal, he has his way of reassuring me that he indeed is happy at Pathway. He consistently and eagerly smiles and says “yes” when I asked him if he is happy at work. I know work is on his mind often, as he signs “work” and “bus” to me perhaps even more frequently than he signs “eat”, another favorite thing. I think he would like to go to work every day, he surely misses it on his days off. I can only imagine how happy he will be when day program re-opens! I understand his skills are limited by his condition and his “academic” goals may not be perfectly achieved, but he is happy and loved which is all any of us can hope to achieve. Thank you for all you do for Dick, and all you did for Bobby through the years. Our family is eternally grateful Pathway Services.

Susie Pokorney-Fajman