Jamie H. had quite a bit of adjusting to do when she first came to Chapel Haven from Houston, TX in 2006.
First, there was the weather. “I had to get used to the snow,” she says with a chuckle.
And then there was the matter of saying goodbye to her familiar environment. But today, she thanks her parents for finding an “amazing” program for her. Chapel Haven has changed her life in many ways.
“I have learned to advocate for myself and have learned to say that I can do it instead of I can’t do it,” says Jamie, who is famed at Chapel Haven for her angelic singing voice and her can-do spirit.
Jamie is a graduate of Chapel Haven’s REACH program. She has a passion to work in child care and currently volunteers at the Little Schoolhouse on Monday and Tuesday with children whose ages range between 3-5. “I am working with a case manager looking for a paid job, working with kids.”
Jamie is talented in theater and loves participating in Chapel Haven’s Theater program with Tina Menchetti and Olivia Wood, where she has performed in every theater production. Recently, she appeared as Sharpay Evans in “Chapel Haven’s High School Musical.”
“I love it – it is so much fun,” she said.
Chapel Haven has influenced her in many ways. She has learned to do her own laundry, pay her own bills, shop for groceries, handle personal hygiene and more. Her most memorable moment is graduating from Chapel Haven’s REACH program in 2008 and moving into the community. Friday night dinner, hanging out with her friends, and going to the mall are a few things she enjoys doing in New Haven.
Jamie also gets involved with projects on campus, goes on recreation trips on the weekends and has a big circle of friends.
“I like going to the movies, I am a big fan of chick flicks,” she said. She also has developed a love of baking, thanks to all the cooking lessons she’s had at Chapel Haven.
Jamie loves her life at Chapel Haven and credits her family with helping her land in the right place. “I would not be here without my parents, I am thankful for that,” she says. Chapel Haven thanks Jamie for bringing us so much joy!
By Mitsouki Garvey-Sanchez, public relations major at University of New Haven, with Faith Smith