Message from Rebecca Lienhard, Tierra’s CEO

 In Advocacy, Articles, Blog, Board Member, Careers in the Arts, College to Career, Developmental Disabilities, IDD, Services for People With Disabilities

Strong Santa Ana winds are bringing a definite change to the air. As I bundle up for the chilly weather, I am reminded how blessed I am to have warm clothes, good food, and a loving family. The last two and a half years have certainly helped all of us to laser focus on these incredible gifts. Of course, I am equally blessed with the resiliency and love of the Tierra family. We have endured two and a half solid years of the COVID-19 winds, yet we remain standing; many of us stronger for the effort.

During this extraordinary time, Tierra has reinvented itself. We launched entirely virtual services in 2020, converted to hybrid models in 2021, and have intentionally moved to in-person services in 2022. Throughout all of this, you were our shipmates during this staggering journey. You stayed engaged. You stayed hopeful, and for that, I will be forever grateful.

Remarkably, as the clouds gave way to blue skies, we have grown as an organization in several ways, and what better way to express our growth than with the launch of our newly named newsletter: Engage. Through our mutual engagement, we now:

• Serve almost 800 associates each day; driving their own lives with a Productive and Personally Meaningful Life Plan

• 120 of our employment, paid or volunteer, partners are back or returning soon

• 14 associates are currently working at Paid Internship placements

• Six associates have been hired out of Paid Internships in 2022

• 22 associates were hired into competitive and integrated employment this past year

• Colleges are back, full steam, either through online or in-person offerings and we are serving 175 students

• 120 artists are back in the studios

We could not have done this amazing work without you. But, we have several miles yet to go, and we need your prayers and efforts. Here are our New Year’s Resolutions:

• Find a pathway forward for the 38 people whom we have not been able to serve due to COVID-19 challenges

• Continue to increase employment, both volunteer and paid, for all associates

• Continue increasing opportunities for our artists to show and sell their amazing work

• Diversify our Board of Directors so that more voices are represented

Our motto for 2023 is “A rising tide lifts all boats.” If you are interested in making any of these your New Year’s Resolutions, let me know and I will sign you up. Until then, Stay Engaged! Happy Holidays from our family to yours, Rebecca Lienhard Tierra del Sol CEO

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