Victoria Nakash has been with Jay Nolan Community Services for over eleven years. Before coming to the agency, Vicki lived in a group home. Right from the start, Jay Nolan has helped her move into her own apartment with the support of her dedicated roommate. The change of environment and her new-found independence has profoundly changed Vicki’s behavior and her overall well-being for the better.

Living on her own, Vicki fearlessly dives into exploring her many interests and hobbies and stands out as an inspiring example of self-improvement. Inspired and greatly influenced by her health-conscious roommate, she is now extremely active and dedicates much of her time to exercising and staying fit. Aside from attending exercise classes at Curves, she swims, goes bowling, and goes on hikes to explore the parks around where she lives. She is also eating healthier than ever before.

Moreover, Vicki attends a music therapy program through the Music Therapy Wellness Clinic at the California State University, Northridge. This program is dedicated to creating an environment where individuals with special challenges can acquire necessary life skills through the unique, creative and enjoyable medium of music.

As she is non-verbal, Vicki is also working on building her communications skills through an assistive technology communications class. She has been attending for a year now and has made significant progress using apps which provide her with the tools to effectively communicate.

Vicki’s most striking accomplishment in the past few years has been immersing herself in painting. She consistently attends art classes three day a week and has developed an incredible talent for painting using acrylics. Her art is extremely imaginative and show a great deal of control and artistic vision. She has an incredible range of painting styles: her works range from chaotically colorful abstractions to more subdued yet expressive realistic portrayals of the natural world. The subject matter varies from flowers to animals to cityscapes yet every painting has a sense of personality and individuality. Painting, it seems, has given Vicki a chance to express her inner voice like never before.

With the help of her staff, Vicki started selling her paintings through a variety of venues such as at Venice Beach and through the Trading Post. JNCS hosts an annual art show of her art where she sells a majority of her works. This year, the entire training conference room was filled wall to wall with paintings, much of which were sold and can now be viewed in almost every employee’s office in the building. The profits go directly to Vicki who uses them to purchase more and better art supplies to continue her craft.

Overall, moving out on her own has drastically improved Vicki’s life for the better. With a little support, Vicki now has the freedom and the opportunity to explore her passions and to develop her own sense of self. Pleased with the support her staff have shown, Vicki’s parents are especially happy to see her progress and to see her happier than she ever was before joining Jay Nolan. We wish Vicki all the best and we are all eager to see Vicki continue painting and never stop creating.

Check out Vicki’s beautiful artworks here: Vicki’s Art

Learn more about Music Therapy at CSUN here: Music Therapy at CSUN

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