In this episode, we conducted an on-site interview with Mr. Mike Bennett
, President and CEO of The ARC of San Antonio
for two years and 2 months. (The latter part of that statement were his exact words.) In attendance as well were Ms. Andie McClendon
, Director of Development of the ARC, and Ms. Sarah Kazen
, Development & Communications Coordinator for the ARC and our production assistant, Emma. We learned that Mike has always had a servant's heart. When asked when it started, he replied, "Three weeks after college." He has previously worked for the American Red Cross.
The overall ARC was initially founded by parents of special needs children. The ARC of San Antonio is a social service home with an unique continuum of care. The ARC serves all ages through their case management programs and adults (18+) in their day program. There are two facilities where they operate their Adult Life Enrichment program -- 13430 West Avenue and 6530 Wurzbach.
Most referrals are from area school districts' transition coordinators who organize meetings between families and the ARC's support service coordinators. The focus is mainly on high school and middle school students as they are closer to the transition age; however, the ARC continues to encourage the school coordinators to introduce the topic to families at the elementary school stage so that they can start the process of planning for crucial long-term supports.
Mr. Bennett was asked the difference between the ARC of San Antonio and the ARC of Texas. He replied that the local area ARC's are the "boots on the ground" so to speak. They are in the thick of it with their families. The ARC of Texas as well as the ARC of the United States are working to make the at-large community and the state and federal legislators aware and act to the needs of the IDD community.
Lastly, Mr. Bennett was excited to share an upcoming event with us. The Achievers Banquet will be held at Morgan's Wonderland on Wednesday, October 9, 2019
. This annual community-building event is one in which the ARC of San Antonio partners with over 30 other special needs agencies
to honor and to recognize individuals with disabilities who have reached a significant milestone in the lives. He advised the tickets sell quickly.
The ARC of San Antonio's website is www.arc-sa.org.
On their website is access to a multi-page Community Resource Directory. The ARC's main number is (210) 490-4300 and their two locations are 13430 West Avenue, SATX, 78216 and 6530 Wurzbach, SATX, 78240.