Self-confidence, communication — and spaghetti!

Nikki and one of the mini-horses at PEACE Ranch.

Nikki and one of the mini-horses at PEACE Ranch.

When Nikki Kaschel moved out of BrickWays housing last fall, she left with more skills, more confidence and more security.

“There used to be lots of chaos in my life,” said Nikki, 23. “Now things seem more comfortable and I feel able to share more things. I’m more comfortable to be who I am.”

Her mother, Jackie, agrees and welcomes the changes. “Now she can follow a course on her own. She needs help developing the course, but she can follow it.”

Besides self-confidence and communication skills, Nikki learned life skills, including cooking, which she loves. “Back when I first started cooking, (BrickWays’ life skills coaches) would help. Then they let go, but they’d still be there.” Nikki appreciated Kesha Stevenson’s math skills when doubling recipes and now Nikki can figure quantities on her own. Plus, she loves making spaghetti and meatballs. 

“She’s grown in confidence, matured,” says Jackie. “She’s more able to express how she’s feeling, when she’s upset, what is appropriate.” And Jackie and the rest of Nikki’s family appreciate learning “new patterns for relating” that they picked up from BrickWays staff. “One thing BrickWays does is look at their residents as adults with challenges, not as children. There’s always been expectations and that’s helped us too.”

Susan Onan