Extremely intelligent and with an extensive knowledge of the different aspects of non-profit management, Anthony is a longstanding advocate for adults with developmental disabilities. He is friendly and personable, and enjoys speaking openly about his work as Director of Operations at Greater opportunities, where he is committed to supporting and improving the lives of adults with developmental disabilities.
Anthony started with Greater Opportunities in 2012, and says he has had a wonderful experience since he joined the organization. Before working with Greater Opportunities, he was the day program manager for six years for a different Bay Area non-profit. He graduated from California State University San Francisco with a degree in Psychology. After he graduated college, he says he worked with many different populations until he discovered the world of adults with developmental disabilities.
He always knew he wanted a career working with people where he could make a difference in people’s lives, and the work he’s doing now allows him to do just that. What Anthony loves about Greater Opportunities is the unparalleled level of genuine care his staff demonstrates, “What sets Greater Opportunities apart from other places I’ve seen is the genuine care that the staff and personnel have for our clients, and vice versa. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve been places where the staff obviously cared about their clients, but the extent to which it is exhibited here blows me away.” The bonds made between clients and staff members are strong, and staff members often become a part of the client’s community outside of Greater Opportunities.
One of his long-term goals for Greater opportunities is to provide more expansive experiences for the clients. With respect to the Day Program, he would like to obtain more materials specifically geared towards those with developmental disabilities, and especially for people with autism. He’d like to have more ways to allow clients to access the community and provide experiences for people that would help them grow, “The opportunities for the people we serve to touch the community, and the world in general, happen through this program. To the people we serve, this is the end of the line, which is why what we do and the things we provide are so important.”
Anthony says the level of dedication his staff demonstrates inspires him to work hard to achieve the organization’s goals to help adults with developmental disabilities achieve new levels of independence. He says he is proud to say that at Greater Opportunities, it’s the services and needs of the people that drive the organization.
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Phone: (408) 248-4464
Fax: (408) 248-1221
Filomena has lived with Jeanette, an older woman with a developmental disability and a Greater Opportunities Day program participant, for many years, and every time she’d bring Jeanette to the Day Program, all the clients would immediately come up to her and greet her. It was an open, inviting atmosphere, and she saw how well the clients were treated, how kind and knowledgeable the staff was, and immediately knew this was the organization she wanted to work for. Since 2007, Filomena has worked at Greater Opportunities as a Supported Living Services caregiver and a staff member at the Day Program.
Filomena is smart, wise, and has an easygoing personality. She takes challenges as they come. She is usually one of the first people to respond if someone is in need. Because she’s worked with many different clients and people with a wide range of disabilities, she’s learned to adapt to many different learning styles and how to quickly identify people’s needs.
She cares deeply about the people she works with. Working at with Greater Opportunities, Filomena has learned that the people they serve are truly incredible souls, “I’ve learned that they will do anything to protect us, so we have a duty to do the same for them. All of the clients are my good friends. I really like all of them and I care about them a lot.”
Because of the rotating group schedule at the Day Program, Filomena works with different clients every day. Sometimes she works with Philip and Stephanie, two young people with developmental disabilities that affect their verbal communication skills. Stephanie, who is non-ambulatory, has been coming to the Day Program for a few months, and lives at home with her mom, dad, and sister. At the Day Program, Stephanie likes to play tennis, and listen to music. She loves music and has a huge collection of songs on her iPhone.
Philip also lives at home with his parents, and through Supported Living Services works with a Greater Opportunities staff member a couple of times a week to improve his independent living skills. He volunteers at the library and at Meals on Wheels, and Filomena says he’s a handworker. He’s has a kind heart, and never refuses if someone asks for his help.
At the new Day Program facility, clients and staff have a big kitchen, music and art classrooms, and a new quiet room for clients to reconvene if they need to. In the bigger space, Filomena says clients are in better moods and have the opportunity to learn more skills in the updated facilities. At the Day Program, Filomena teaches clients to sew, and has them make squares of fabric that she crafts into beautiful quilts. There’s a special sense of community, and Filomena is proud to be a part of an organization doing such important work, “They need all the support we can give, and Greater Opportunities is a great support system.”