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Participant Spotlight: Emily Haws

Discovering more of her talents and growing in using them inside and out...

When you first meet her, you might think Emily Haws is always a quiet young woman. You would not be wrong—at first! While Emily is indeed quieter in nature, she can be heard belly-laughing with her friends at Lighthouse from time to time. She is often observing others and is friendly and empathetic towards her peers.


Emily lives at home with her parents, Tony and Tracey, who lovingly call her “Em.” They enjoy getting out and relaxing together at their family cabin in Sullivan County.

Emily is currently involved with Lighthouse’s Strengthening Pathways program where she participates in many different activities throughout the week, and in the Community Participation Services program where she goes on community outings with groups of two or three peers and a staff person.


In Strengthening Pathways, Emily has taken a special interest in arts and crafts—particularly water coloring, making cards, or any new artsy projects! She also enjoys learning how to cook new recipes with the group—something that she built upon when the Lighthouse facility first closed down in the spring of 2020. During the early months of the pandemic, Emily joined an online cooking class led by Sharon Metzger who commented on Emily’s growth during that time. In the first couple of classes, Emily sat back, away from the computer and watched what was happening. Before long though, she was logging on and sitting right up against the computer, engaged in the class, and eager to learn.


While it can sometimes take a while for Emily to open up to new or different staff, her transition to the Strengthening Pathways program has been a smooth one. Her Program Specialist, Kaitlyn Deemer, and Sharon both remarked how little by little she has opened up and started to grow. Sharon noted that Emily connected well with James, her DSP, from the start. James shared that in addition to Emily’s favorite activities, she also has gone up front with the group on her own to either observe or participate in a group activity such as kick ball, exercise, trivia, music, or reading a book.


Emily also began getting more involved in the community through the Community Participation Services program over the last few months. She goes on community outings to a variety of locations including local stores, parks, or Hayloft Ice Cream. A few times, she even received an outdoor music lesson while on a short hike with a couple of her peers. Emily enjoys feeding the ducks, eating lunch in the park, and window shopping while in the community.

It is a joy to have Emily’s friendly, cheerful demeanor among us at Lighthouse!


~~Ashley Hankins ~ Program Associate

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