LifeStyles Academy Spring 2015 Newsletter

Posted Thursday May 28, 2015 by Vance McDaniel

LifeStyles Academy Spring 2015 Newsletter

lifestyles22LifeStyles Academy is Celebrating its First Anniversary serving young adults with developmental disabilities. Since opening our doors in May 2014, our Members have found the Academy to be a great place to continue learning. We are a continuing education and vocational program to help young adults learn independent living skills and to work in the community.

Our members learn: Vocational skills to get and keep jobs, cooking skills for working in the food service industry & independent living, computer skills for resume writing & data entry, fitness skills for healthy living as well as arts & crafts.

LifeStyles Academy recently installed a fitness trail on our campus for our members, as well as the community. It is a 10-station workout system which includes stretching and calorie burning exercises. Our Fit-Trail system nicely compliments our fitness program for our members. Come visit to use it yourself!

Check us out at our First Anniversary Open House on June 19th, from 10am to 2pm.
Growing our Program by State Certification & Transportation
LifeStyles Academy is pursuing State Certification as a Day Training provider. This will allow us to accommodate more members from the community to fulfill their needs.


We are applying for an IDOT grant to provide transportation to our members who will need rides to and from the Academy as well as to jobs and recreational activities in the community.
Self-Advocacy and Civic Responsibility
LifeStyles Academy is joining forces with the Illinois Self Advocacy Alliance to empower our members to take charge of their lives and pursue their goals. Membership in The Alliance opens up many doors for our members to make new friends, influence people and public policy on disability issues. One of the most important skills our members are learning is self-advocacy.

We recently hosted the CTF Tigers, a local self-advocacy group with Jessica Delgado and Leanne Roth, to talk to Academy members about self-advocacy and their work with the Illinois Self Advocacy Alliance – a statewide self-advocacy organization. Our members were so impressed with the activities described by the Alliance members that we are joining the Alliance as members this year.

LifeStyles Academy Advisory Council – Self-advocacy is all about empowerment and that starts right here. Our members recently voted to elect officers to the LifeStyles Academy Advisory Council. With staff support, The Council will meet to discuss issues that impact members. The first order of business is to design an official LifeStyles Academy t-shirt. Council members will put their leadership skills to work by working with staff members to plan events and activities this Summer.

Leadership & Success Stories – One of our members brought in his guitar to the Academy and started playing for the group. Others really liked it and wanted to take lessons. Here’s a story written by another member of the Academy about his experience. This is what the Academy is all about, discovering new opportunities among our members.

Learning how to play the guitar for the first time:

musicMy friend Michael from LifeStyles Academy has been teaching me how to play the guitar. This week was the first week that we began to play together. We play anytime that Mike is here at the academy. Mike brings in his own guitar and I borrow a guitar from Mike Kaminsky. So far, I have learned how to play some chord progressions and the song, “Smoke on the Water”. Learning guitar was very fun and I am looking forward to learning more on the guitar in the future. I hope to inspire others from this new hobby.




A Life Like Any Other

is a new grant from the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD). LifeStyles Academy is pleased to share that we have been awarded with an investment from the ICDD to create a new Advocacy Center to help people with developmental disabilities discover their passions and pursue their dreams.

We will work with people to choose a path of employment in the community, their own micro-enterprise or pursue the hobbies of their passion. The Advocacy Center project is funded for one year, and will be absorbed by the Academy for future years. Visit our website for more details soon: or email: or call us at: 708-480-2085.

Upcoming Events

June 5th, 10:30am – Jerome Jones, Work Incentive Planning & Assistance. Things you need to know while working and receiving benefits.

June 12th, 10:30am – Tom Nestor, Strategies to improve your life! Leadership skills training. A Tony Robbins trainer, Tom Nestor helps participants change their mindset to reach their full potential. He motivates people to become a Peak Performer and take action to get results. He inspires strong leadership skills.

LifeStyles Academy Anniversary Open House
On June 19th, 10am – 2pm come visit LifeStyles Academy and see what you have been missing this past year. Meet our staff and get a tour of the Academy from one of our members.
Call us at: 708-480-2085 to register for the above events!

Mara’s Corner

43f92269-9314-41e7-a1f2-33d2f27c09e0Spring time has arrived and with it the LifeStyles Academy Horticulture program is in full bloom! The horticulture program is finally in the ground and with Mother Nature’s help our garden will soon be filled with herbs and vegetables to use in our culinary program.

The newly installed fitness trail has become a fun alternative in our Fitness program. The fitness trail allows members to exercise independently, as a group and with the fitness trainer. Members are able to experience a different and fun way to exercise.


If you know someone who wants to continue to learn and grow after finishing High School or their Transition Program, please ask them to visit our website:
Click on the Enrollment Application link and submit their application today!

Now taking students 18-22 for during the summer before and after summer program!


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