All Kinds of News for November 09, 2016
Onward Transitions members know that Portland, Maine is a culinary wonder. Amazing restaurants, grocers, producers and growers populate the coast. To kick off the weekend, members and staff dine out every Friday night at a restaurant they research and select. This has become a wonderful tradition and everyone looks forward to getting together in the Old Port district to break artisanal bread, slurp traditional ramen and experience freshly caught seafood.
Fortunately, OT members and staff don’t have to go out to find locally sourced, inspirationally prepared healthy food. Onward Transitions’ Wellness Systems Coordinator, Dawn Kendall, M.A. delivers on the OT commitment to members and to the community of local grocers, growers, fishers, bakers, makers and markets—using local resources to meet strategic goals pointed towards better overall health and wellness. Dawn’s undergraduate and graduate work in psychology and theology bring spirit and soul, which combines brilliantly with her work experience in the food industry and her current studies in dietetics.
Dawn brings creativity and global fusion exploration to menu planning and meal preparation. Each member completes an extensive survey identifying food values, traditions, patterns, preferences, challenges, and goals. Dawn works with each member to expand their palates (and their minds in the process), nudging all towards more informed and nutritious decisions. Members go on excursions with Dawn seeking specialty items and really learning how to shop for their independent lives in the process.
Dawn creates the menu, preps and cooks breakfast and dinner Monday through Friday, and prepares a large casserole or soup dish to serve on Saturday. She helps members design individual wellness plans, mentors them in the kitchen as they serve as her sous chef, and in the process learn important lessons about cleanliness, food prep and storage.
"Thanks to Dawn, table is set, the dinner candle is lit, and the community is engaged," said Darrell Fraize, M.Ed., LCPC, LADC, Clinical Director at Onward Transitions. The philosophy and approach at OT revolves around the value of conversation. Fraize went on to say, "And nowhere is this more true than in what takes place at the dining room table of the Pine House."
Onward Transitions is a comprehensive, non-residential independent living service that supports young adults, ages 18-27 living independently in the neighborhood of their choice in Portland, Maine. Our members choose and live in their own apartment from day one. They do not ever live with us. Members' challenges include anxiety, depression, executive functioning and meeting the requirements of launching towards independence.