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Ani B. came dancing into the after school program at the AbilityFirst Glendale Center early in 2019.

Focused on socialization, the program was a perfect fit for Ani, who flourished with the interaction with the other participants. She was comfortable being social with staff and students and enjoyed offering help wherever it was needed. Of all the daily activities, it was music and dance that Ani loved most. Then the pandemic arrived, and her in-person social activities sadly, stopped temporarily.

When the after school program launched virtual programming in March, Ani knew that, although using technology was not her specialty, getting comfortable with being online would be the only way to interact with her friends at the AbilityFirst Glendale Center. Fortunately, Ani readily picked up technological skills and she didn’t even need much help from her mom!

Ani can now turn on and launch a variety of applications on both her iPad and computer, with the biggest payoff being able to socialize with her friends again! Along with reconnecting with her peers from the program, Ani has learned from staff (via Zoom) how to prepare snacks on her own.

Ani adapted well to these unusual and challenging times, but she’s ready to get back to in person programs, along with keeping up with her music and dancing!

“I enjoy Dancing with the Stars,” she says. “One day I would like to be part of it!”

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