October 15, 2018


Summit Center Updates

S.T.E.P.S. Opens New Location

In late September, Renewal Church, 530 Meadow Drive, North Tonawanda, opened its doors to The Summit Center to serve as the third location of the STEPS (Success Through Engagement and Positive Support) program. This new site joins STEPS in Tonawanda at  St. Francis of Assisi and STEPS in Bowmansville at Sacred Heart Church in serving adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.  STEPS will share two classrooms and have access to a large gym and kitchen. The site will serve as a home base from which program participants will engage in community activities that align with their personal interests.

“We’re so pleased to announce this expansion of our program to meet a growing need in our community,” said Diana Schmit, Vice President of Adult and Community Services. “Our team has worked exceptionally hard in developing a program that allows individuals to engage in activities throughout the day that are of interest to them while also providing the level of behavioral support they need to be successful.”

STEPS in North Tonawanda will ultimately serve 12 adults, some of whom present with more challenging behaviors and have been denied participation in other local adult programs.  To provide a well-rounded experience, STEPS focuses on four main areas: volunteerism, work skills exploration, life skills development, and rest and relaxation. “Every day we see people making progress,” said Benjamin Goldberg, Coordinator of Community Services. “We’re doing things with these individuals that some people thought weren’t possible. Our program demonstrates that with the proper level of support they can achieve their dreams and have a happy fulfilling life,” he said.

Cory Hellerer has been promoted from Life Skills Trainer to Supervising Life Skills Trainer and will oversee the new location in North Tonawanda.

With the addition of the new site, Summit’s STEPS program will serve a total of 36 individuals within a geographic boundary of Lewiston and West Seneca to the north and south, and Grand Island and Clarence to the east and west. The program, funded by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), operates year round, Monday – Friday.