Regardless of the notion of disability, all people live productive and personally meaningful lives.


We champion inclusion and value for all people with disabilities through creative pathways to employment, education, and the arts.


Person-Centeredness, Passion, Honesty, Respect, and Full Engagement

  • Each and every human life has value and meaning.
  • Regardless of the notion of disability, each person has the potential and the right to lead a full, productive and personally meaningful life.
  • A life with quality includes participation in the economic, cultural, civic and spiritual affairs of the community.
  • A life with quality includes loved ones and valued social relationships.
  • Families and communities are stronger when all members are accepted and valued for their contributions.

Tierra Is

  • We are internships at professional organizations.
  • We are innovative and intensive Vocational Training Services that help prepare and propel young adults into fully integrated, inclusive lifestyles.
  • We are meeting the unique needs of individuals where they live, work and thrive.
  • We are dedicated staff, countless volunteers and community partners.
  • We are families and friends.
  • We are Tierra.
  • Hilton’s partnership with Tierra has helped us in so many ways. Our existing team has embraced Jimmy, Jonathan, and Niko, and developed a strong bond with each of them. They are happy to come to work, and that positive energy transpires to everyone here. Our partnership with Tierra has been a wonderful experience on many levels. We look forward to continuing that for a long time.

    Nelson Ancheta Hilton’s Universal Assistant Executive Steward, TDS Employment Partner

We are a team of people who love what we do and the people we serve. Find out more.


The Tierra del Sol Foundation was founded in Sunland, CA, in 1971. Originally conceived by parents as an alternative to institutional care, Tierra began as an early demonstration of self-advocacy. The founding parents were determined to raise their sons and daughters as permanent members of their families, rather than abandon them to the State. The notion was simple; all people have gifts, and our community is richer when all our citizens are valued for their contributions. We have never lost these important principles.

Tierra’s first two decades were marked by educational training, fitness activities, artistic endeavors and social skill acquisition for the people we served. Family members supported Tierra by volunteering in classes, providing transportation, performing clerical duties and more, to ensure that the learning programs succeeded.

In the 90s, Tierra began pushing perimeters. Tierra shifted its model of service to integrated workforce development. Tierra identified volunteerism and paid employment as a way of expanding our clients’ potential to obtain meaningful employment. More than 25 years later, different industries and businesses have recognized the value of Tierra workers in many areas, such as clerical, retail, janitorial and assembly work and Tierra remains a leader in advancing productive community citizenship. Our partnerships with local employers continued to grow.

In the early 2000s, Tierra continued its track of innovation and personalized services. Through embracing the utilization of the PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) model, Tierra services began to focus on individual career identification for those we serve.

In 2007, Tierra launched our College to Career model, NEXUS, in order for young adults with developmental disabilities, including autism, to experience success in higher education.

Over the years, it has become clear that Tierra is not a place, rather it is a dynamic organization that empowers people with developmental disabilities to achieve excellence through Workforce Development, College to Career, and Careers in the Arts.

Bud’s Place
Remembering Bud Brown

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On June 1st, Bud Brown left this world with a legacy of love, service, and making it a better place. And, when it came to Tierra del Sol, he did just exactly that. Whether it was advisor, volunteer, fundraiser, donor, advocate, ambassador, or Board Member, Bud’s role in bringing growth and success to Tierra del Sol, for 44 years, was always about the associates. “Bud’s enthusiasm for Tierra and generosity in bringing so many successful and highly respected community leaders into service as Board Members, advisors, and employment partners, helped Tierra mature into a truly community-based organization,” recalls Steve Miller, who worked closely with Bud during his 24-year tenure as Tierra’s CEO, until 2014.

A sincere and humble individual whose business card read, ‘retired twice’; the first time from a 37-year career at GTE and later from eight years with Hamer Toyota, Bud held positions as Manager of Community Relations for both companies and had vast contacts throughout the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys.  When Tierra needed funding in the late 90s, Bud was influential in raising $1 million for Tierra’s Burn the Mortgage Campaign, through a series of very successful golf tournaments held in partnership with Hamer Toyota. The milestone event was celebrated in 1997, with a massive bonfire on the Sunland Campus, where associates, families, staff, supporters, and firefighters alike, watched Tierra’s mortgage, go up in smoke!

In 2015, Bud initiated the “Opening Doors Campaign” which raised funds to install automatic doors throughout the Sunland Campus, ultimately empowering even the most severely physically disabled individuals to enter and exit buildings with the touch of a button. Later, his efforts paid for the installation of electronic gates, allowing staff who began and ended their day in the early morning hours or late night at Tierra’s campus, the safety of remaining in their cars.  While fundraising and advocacy helped make Tierra a better place over the years, Bud never lost sight of his relationship with the associates and staff. “There simply aren’t words to describe all that he has meant to the people served by Tierra del Sol and to those of us who were honored to serve the organization alongside him”, states Steve. “He often would say, ‘Tierra is a little piece of heaven on earth.’ He helped make it so and I, along with many others will always think of him as one of our guiding angels.”

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