Teammates Program helps young adults with special needs gain life skills [published in Hudson Hub]

A local group of young adults with special needs now spend their weekdays at Rejoice Lutheran Church in Hudson, participating in the Teammates Program which provides them with life, work, and social skills.

The program, which meets Mondays through Fridays from 8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., aims to help young adults with special needs obtain the needed skills to thrive in society and have a positive quality of life.

Typically, 10-11 participants attend the Teammates Hudson location daily. The program targets a ratio of 12 clients to four instructors, with many instructors having a special education or related background.

The owner of Teammates, Peggy Peters of Tallmadge, previously worked as an education intervention specialist teacher and aide in the Stow-Munroe Falls schools for over 30 years. “As a teacher, when I took families on tours of adult programs, there wasn’t a lot out there as they wanted more continuing education for when their child ages out.” Opening a place like Teammates was Peters’ dream for many years.

Peters sought the current Hudson location because the Teammates Program, which has been in existence for nearly three years, was growing and many participants were from Hudson. Teammates leases its space from Rejoice Lutheran Church, which has been in Hudson for over 12 years.

“Partnering with Teammates is just one way that Rejoice is bringing our vision [to life],” said Bethany Bryant, president of Rejoice. Interim Pastor Doug Fidler described Teammates as “a diverse group of young folk who bring a joy of life and wonder to each day.”

Young adults can participate by applying through their Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board SSA (Services and Support Administrator). Teammates Center is located at 323 S. Main St, in Munroe Falls, and now Rejoice Lutheran Church at Stow Road in Hudson.

Nina Ackerman, participant at Teammates and member of Rejoice Lutheran Church, washes her hands in preparation of microwaving tacos as staff person Sophia Sabatino and participant David Gurerri.

Teammates Center staff supervisor, Jeremy Lundstrom and owner, Peggy Peters.

Teammates clients Ashley Bohnert and Nate Shockey (rear), staff persons Sophia Sabatino and Jordy Ruth, Nina Ackerman, Gabby Awender and David Boise enjoy Thursday tasting of tacos for lunch.