Beacons, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public benefit nonprofit
empowering adults with diverse intellectual abilities!
Summer workshops July 5 - 28! Sign-up now!
June 9: Explorer Coffee Cart! 11 am - 1 pm
June 16: Last day of spring Explorer session
June 5: Sign-ups to open for next Club at 9 am
June 10: Club "Hunger Games" @ 6 - 9 pm
Spring Session: January 17 - June 16 (Full)
Fall Session: August 1 - December 15
SDRC Vendor #: PY1700, Code: 102, Subcode: Exp
To be added to the Fall 2023 waitlist, please click here.
A 2-year vocational training opportunity consisting of a series of four 5-month sessions
for individuals interested in exploring community or self-employment.
Under the Employment First Policy, employment of individuals with developmental disabilities is one of the State's highest priorities "regardless of the severity of their disabilities." Individuals who are employed have a greater sense of independence, connection to their local community, and confidence from working side-by-side with non-disabled peers earning their own paycheck.
In March 2022, Beacons worked with the San Diego Regional Center to bring Beacons' successful PathFinder program to a broader range of individuals with developmental disabilities. PathFinder "Explorer" will teach a wide variety of vocational skills for up to 80 weeks (four 5-month sessions over a 2-year period, or longer depending on the IPP team and workshop availability).
Since 2019, PathFinder's vocational workshops have successfully helped trainees with mild/moderate developmental disabilities acquire skills to find competitive integrated employment (CIE) and paid internship opportunities. Our most recently completed series of workshops (which ended December 17, 2021), resulted in 100% of our trainees finding CIE within one month of completing their PathFinder workshops. Whether it's 1 hour a week or 20 hours a week, PathFinder Explorer will help trainees find a path of their choosing based on their interests and skills.
Subject(s) per session: Skills in several subject areas (e.g. Creative Design, Customer Service, Entrepreneurial Skills, and Soft Skills) are taught each week. Trainees will have the opportunity to learn different skills depending on the schedule that they choose.
Workshop hours: Skills are taught in 45 - 60 minute increments between 9 am to 2 pm over four 5-month sessions 2, 3 or 5 days a week depending on schedule and space availability. Mornings are usually community-based learning, and afternoons usually provide onsite instruction (e.g. creative design, entrepreneurial skills, etc.)
Ratio: Explorer has a ratio of 3:1
Total Hours: 240 hours per 5-month session (with the option for additional hours as needed per IPP team agreement).
SDRC vendor number: PathFinder Explorer Vendor Info: PY1700, Code: 102, Subcode: Expl.
1. Application: Unfortunately Spring 2023 Explorer is now full. Individuals wishing to be placed on a waitlist may complete this form.
2. SDRC (or Independent Facilitators) follow-up: Please contact your SDRC service coordinator to:
let the service coordinator know that you're interested in the Beacons "PathFinder Explorer" option,
make sure you have a vocational goal in your IPP (if not, work with your service coordinator to create one),
request that your "IPP" (Individual Program Plan) and "CDER" (Client Development Evaluation Report) be sent to: Explorer@BeaconsNorthCounty.com.
Click here for a sample letter that you can view and copy.
For individuals in the Self-Determination program, if you do not already have a vocational training goal and funding in place, please contact your independent facilitator and SDRC service coordinator to let them know you would like to add a vocational goal to your IPP and discuss the addition of funding to the spending plan so that funding is available to participate in the Explorer option.
3. Screening/Intake Meeting: After the applicant's IPP and CDER have been sent to Beacons, our Explorer team will contact the applicant and/or her/his conservators to set up an intake meeting to make sure the workshop supports the applicant's IPP goals, the applicant meets the entrance criteria set forth in the application, and the applicant is interested in the vocational purpose of PathFinder Explorer.
4. If accepted into Explorer, the applicant will then need to complete and submit the following:
Director: Bethany Britt, M.Ed.
Bethany was born and raised in Southern California and is a graduate of La Costa Canyon High School so she has endless contacts throughout our community to enrich activities for Explorer. She is also a trained self-determination facilitator and well-versed in the supports and options available in the community to help self-advocates learn more about their local area and service options.
Bethany has a BA in Special Education from Arizona State University and a Masters in Educational Counseling from National University. She holds credentials in Pupil Personnel Services, Educational Specialist of Instruction Level II and CrossCultural Language and Academic Development in the state of California.
Bethany taught special education in a Moderate/Severe program for the Chandler Unified School District and coached the girls JV soccer team for Hamilton High School for two years. After returning to San Diego, she taught in both Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe programs for the San Dieguito Union High School District for 13 years. During her time at SDUHSD, Bethany helped lead the TAP program at Torrey Pines High School and La Costa Canyon High School. In 2015, Bethany won the Collaborative Team Award for the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education.
Bethany is a valued member of the Beacons team and brings her years of experience to help optimize learning, increase confidence and facilitate social connections.
Assistant Director &
Lead Instructor Explorer
Andi Woolley joined Beacons from the Job Corps and contributes not only her compassion for others, but also her prior experience as a Title 1 teacher, Job Corps reading instructor and Title 1 Paraprofessional. Andi has her bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Studies, a UX Design Certificate, and A.A. in Elementary Education.
Andi supports Explorer as its Assistant Director and as as a lead vocational training instructor. Her many contributions also include the design of trainee assessments and lesson plans to enhance learning and measure progress to help trainees work towards their self-determined goals. She also brings a wide range of creative and technical skills to help trainees with their creative design and entrepreneurial skills, and is a frequent activity leader at Club Beacons.
Andi has taught a wide range of students for the Fremont County School District and will help Beacons continue to improve its options to meet the growing needs of those Beacons serves.
Emily Landers has almost a decade of experience working with individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, including caring for a family member with an intellectual disability. Emily has a bachelor's degree in Psychology, with coursework in Learning and Memory, Adolescent Psychology and Early Childhood development, and a background in lesson planning and positive classroom management strategies. Emily's has also served as a coach for the YMCA and the LYCO Champions League, managing players and volunteers with (and without) intellectual and physical disabilities. Emily is also bilingual (Spanish and English).
Emily supports Beacons' trainees as a lead instructor in creative expression and digital arts. She has also supported Beacons as an activities planner and social facilitator for Club Beacons, and as a substitute instructor for the "original" PathFinder vocational training program in the Creative Design workshop and other areas.
AJ has served as a lead instructor in our PathFinder program, and brings that vocational training experience to Explorer. AJ served as a special education instructor for Together We Grow and Children's Campus teaching individuals in need of communication and language development, and interned with speech and language therapists to support individuals with developmental delays. He also served for two years as an assistant language teacher to support individuals with a wide range of physical, medical and mental disabilities in Japan before coming to Beacons, Inc.
AJ started in the Beacons Navigator program and after a demonstrated success working in an instructional capacity, joined the PathFinder team to help individuals develop their soft and hard skills to secure employment. He teaches creative design, customer service skills and entrepreneurial skills.
AJ is an undergraduate from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's degree in communication disorders and a minor in special education. He shares his creativity throughout all workshops.
Sunny Groseclose has always had a heart for people of different abilities and wanted that to be the focal point of her life and career. Even though she holds a bachelor's degree in Communication from University of Cal State San Marcos, her heart ultimately led her away from a business platform to something more intimate -- working with individuals and their families one-to-one in people’s homes.
Prior to coming to Beacons, Sunny worked for a local company as a Registered Behavioral Therapist and transitioned into a second role as a Parent Trainer, where she worked directly with kids (and teens) who have been diagnosed with Autism, as well as supporting their families through the process within their homes, schools, and their community.
Sunny joined the Beacons team as a trained Independent Facilitator for the Beacons Self Determination division and then as an instructor for the Navigator day program. She now supports the Explorer program using her talents to help trainees of all abilities learn workforce skills to bridge gaps to employment. When Sunny is not at Beacons, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two young sons and their dog!
Training overview: The Explorer option offers approximately 80 weeks (four 5-month sessions) of vocational exploration and training over a two-year period using a schedule that introduces and teaches skills in a wide variety of areas (e.g. creative design, customer service, entrepreneurial skills, office skills, soft skills, job getting and keeping skills, and more!)
The curriculum and instructional model for Explorer uses a pacing designed for individuals with developmental disabilities who need more time to learn and practice skills than what the original PathFinder program option offers. Each workshop session includes internet safety training, pre-and post assessments for each unit to measure progress, extra hours for additional instruction if needed or wanted to meet a level of proficiency, materials and/or licenses needed for a subject area, soft skills training, creation of person-centered plans for post-workshop transitioning, job application and employment placement support, and much more! The final 5-month session will supplement vocational training with robust person-centered planning to support transitions from Explorer and equip the trainee and trainee's team with information on post-Explorer options.
Ratios & Enrollment: 3:1 ratio with no more than 12 trainees per workshop module.
Devices: Trainees may bring their own device, but Beacons also has available 15.6" yoga touchscreen Chromebooks with a mouse accessory, 12.9" iPads, an interactive 65" touchscreen monitor, and other devices as needed.
Materials: Each trainee will be provided with his/her own materials and sanitation kit for safe learning onsite.
Contact Information: Explorer@BeaconsNorthCounty.com