Hi, my name is David, and I’ve been going to The Clubhouse for five years.

Working with the Clubhouse and Skills of Central PA really changed my life. The first time I looked into Skills services, I wasn’t ready. I am so grateful for second chances. The Clubhouse helped to bring out my gifts. It helped me to go from shy and quiet to someone who wants to help others. I am now someone who works on my goals and dreams.

I’ve been in a group home for about 4 years now, which is a place where I feel like I can grow and mature. I’m currently involved in several community groups, including cooking at Taproot Kitchen and acting with Harmony. Harmony is Penn State’s multidisciplinary performing arts club. I am also involved in a group called Happy Valley Improv. They are an entertaining acting group to be around; they help you laugh a lot. I’ve been in the media and have had my picture in the newspapers for recovery and inspiration, and I love it.

Since coming to the Clubhouse, I’ve been able to make lots of friends. I’ve also practiced skills that have allowed me to be more independent in the community, like learning to ride the CATA bus and moving out of my parents’ house into a group home. After moving out about 4 years ago, I am more independent and know how to help others navigate State College. I also love making friends every day on or off the CATA bus.

I don’t hide anymore, I show people who I am, and I take steps to help others who come to Skills of Central PA. I show them around, ease them in, and help them to figure out what it is they need to learn. I explain things are possible as long as you give things and people a chance. Friends inspire me more than you know. The love of friends gives everyone strength and shows me what I’m capable of.

Before coming to the Clubhouse, I was nervous and shy. Now, I’m an outgoing person who wishes to make more friends and show the world what I’m made of.

My message to everyone is this – there are places you can go where you are not alone and where you can be who you want to be. The Clubhouse is one of those places.