Painting the Way to Success

Gabby has been a gifted artist ever since she was a toddler. When she joined OFA’s Community Engagement program in 2016, she shared how important painting and drawing were to her Direct Support Professional (DSP) Shaun, who is also a gifted artist. Gabby and Shaun’s mutual interest in art benefitted both of them, as they were able to teach each other unique tips and tricks to implement into their artwork.  

Sean constantly encouraged Gabby to practice her talents and express herself through her love for art. Gabby has always wanted to improve her painting skills, so it seemed to be fate that she connected with Shaun. During their time together, Shaun taught Gabby different art mediums that she had never tried before. 

 From new sketching to painting techniques, Gabby broadened her art skills and additionally received the guidance and resources needed to become more independent, self-reliant, and active in her community. Gabby was able to make long-lasting friendships with both the members of her Community Engagement group and with Shaun.  

In the Fall of 2021, Options For All facilitated a “Park Art Day” as a Community Engagement event. This event was aimed toward team bonding between our Community Engagement groups and team members. The event also provided new and exciting media content for the organization. With the demand for authentic artistry, OFA reached out to Gabby and asked her to help lead a body painting activity. Gabby was so excited about the opportunity to put her skills into action, and with the support of Shaun, she was able to execute a successful activity. Photos of her artwork are now used on the OFA website and across social media. 

Our Community Engagement program is not just another day program – it’s an opportunity to explore your talents and let them flourish. 

At Options For All, we believe that everyone deserves a career they love. To begin the day with a sense of purpose and to end it with a feeling of fulfillment. Through our donors’ contributions and the tireless work of Options For All staff, finding a dream job as a person with a developmental disability is a reality. A graduate of our Film & Media Program, Ludivico Estrada, is a perfect example. 

Ludivico Estrada, or “Ludi” as he’s known at the office, is a creative powerhouse. With an interest in graphic design and film production, the Options For All Film & Media Studio in San Diego was a perfect match. He quickly learned from his instructors and showed an early aptitude for working with cameras, film editing, creating sets, and designing film posters. He even worked with staff during our rebranding to make the Options For All logo. 

Ludi’s passion for his work is evident to anyone who meets him. Upon graduation, he was hired by Options For All in an official capacity as a Production Assistant. In this role, he supports us in creating videos and films that share the Options For All story. He most enjoys creative work and is always ready to jump in and help out, no matter the project. According to OFA Production Manager Dan Roper, “Ludi is dedicated to his work and has a keen ability for focus. We’re thrilled to have him as part of the team!” Ludivico also works as an independent contractor and produces educational and music videos for YouTube.  

Ludi’s advice for others looking to land their dream job is to “follow your dreams and work your way through until you get the hang of it”. And for those who aren’t sure where to start, he says, ” If you want to follow your dreams and find a career you’ll love, come visit Options For All and see if it’s the right fit for you.”