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Calendar >  TERI Innovative Programs Currently Expanding to New Location in San Marcos -Part I

TERI Innovative Programs Currently Expanding to New Location in San Marcos -Part I

By   /  October 19, 2023  /  No Comments

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Part 1 of a Series on the TERI Program and the Future Expansion

TR Robertson – The dreams of founder and CEO of TERI, Cheryl Kilmer, began during her college years in the 1970’s when she witnessed firsthand the inadequacy of the programs available to fit the needs of children and adults with developmental disabilities. Cheryl saw the need for new approaches to assist people that needed specialized approaches to providing adequate learning, socialization and wellness programs. This would eventually lead her, in 1980, to establish the Oceanside TERI Campus at 251 Airport Road, designing a program to fit the needs of people with autism and special needs. Her unique approach included innovative services, education and enrichment programs that now service 900 individuals throughout San Diego and South Orange County with a staff of 400 employees.

Tom & Mary Tomlinson Vocational Center

TERI currently uses 12 residential homes in North County for some of the individuals with special needs and a staff to assist them. Each of these homes averages a residency of 6-7 individuals. The majority of other individuals TERI services live in homes with 24/7 services including transportation needs throughout San Diego County and Orange County. Plans are underway to open a 13th residential home that will house only special needs women.

Listed in the TERI brochure, describing the need for this innovative program, is the following information:

  • “Currently, 1 in 6 children – or 17% aged 3-17 years – have been diagnosed with a developmental disability. (Reported by the CDC and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
  • Over half of young adults with autism have no access to vocational or life skills training.
  • Families desperately need specialized education and support.
  • Aging parents are urgently looking for life span programs for their children.”
Entrance to the TERI Common Grounds Cafe

The TERI approach encompasses programs that include Comprehensive lifespan support, Customized family support, Life skills training for all ages, Vocational opportunities based on choice, An innovative culture of fitness and wellness and 20 internationally respected programs and services.

TERI stands for Training, Education, & Resource Institute. Their Mission Statement – To change the way the world sees, helps, and supports individuals with special needs – will soon grow by leaps and bounds due to the expansion of TERI to a large 20-acre site, known as the TERI Campus of Life, in San Marcos on Deer Springs Road. Cheryl Kilmer’s 20-year dream of being able to offer a multifaceted facility has begun, with several buildings and programs already underway. A visit to the Campus of Life offered a chance to see the project firsthand and a chance to visit the Tom & Mary Tomlinson Vocational Center and have a wonderful lunch at the TERI Common Grounds Café, where we met with Matt Parsons – Managing Director Business Strategies and Lina Cardenas – Sr. Marketing & Creative Services Manager. We also saw the four acres of certified organic urban farming and gardening, as well as learned about 9 home gardens at the residential homes, that provide some produce and fruit for the residential homes and the cafe as well as offering produce to sell in the café. Just launched at TERI is CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box subscription where consumers can sign-up to receive annually, bi-annually, or weekly a box of organic fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Go to www.tericommongroundscafe/teri-farms or www.tericampusoflife.org for more information. All profits from the farm and the café go to support the TERI special needs programs.

Across from the gardens of the farm is the Equestrian Center that supports the Therapeutic Equestrian Program. This center offers around 100 individuals a chance to take part in therapeutic-based riding lessons and other programs.

The next series of articles will cover the TERI approach to training and care of special needs individuals, the proposed projects for the Campus of Life, and a look at the TERI Common Grounds Cafe open to everyone as well as offering some upcoming programs that are open to the public.

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  • Published: 7 months ago on October 19, 2023
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  • Last Modified: October 19, 2023 @ 11:00 pm
  • Filed Under: Local
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