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ITG Program Vision - 2024

Independence Through GRACE Foundation (ITG) has been serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Bakersfield for over seven years. Having merged with two other service providers last year, and adding staff with a combined thirty-plus years of disability services experience, ITG has expanded its programming to include enrichment, pre-vocational, community employment, and microenterprise development services. As our story continues to unfold, we have an even greater commitment to the original vision of ITG, to see adults with IDD grow in independence, contribute to our broader community, and to THRIVE.

Keep reading to learn about four of our current participants, and our vision for the programs they take part in.

GRACE participant Destiny, black and white portrait

GRACE Enrichment Program

Destiny has enjoyed over five years of art, dance, and friendship in the GRACE enrichment program, and has grown significantly in life skills over the years. Recently, Destiny has been leading activities for fellow GRACE participants, sharing her love of art and developing her leadership skills!

Our vision for the coming months in the GRACE program is to ensure that all activities promote independence and growth so more participants can grow like Destiny has. By focusing on each participant’s individual dreams and goals we aim to become more person-centered, providing classes tailored to fit our participants’ needs while simultaneously encouraging community integration.

Bridges participant Lenisha, black and white portrait

Bridges Pre-Vocational Program

After participating in community-based activities and seeing other participants maintain employment, Lenisha decided that she would like to explore what employment might look like for her. In the Bridges pre-vocational program, Lenisha is developing her skills, learning about employment options, and exploring different vocational paths by spending time in the community.

Bridges is designed for participants who are curious about the idea of community-based or self employment, but who are unsure if it will be a good fit for them. Once a participant, like Lenisha, has explored employment and decided it is right for them, we equip and train them with knowledge and experience so they feel prepared to enter the workforce or start their own microenterprise.

New Options Participant Luis, black and white portrait

New Options Community Employment Program

Luis is involved in his community and especially loves participating in local sports. Wanting to earn an income of his own and contribute to the community, Luis began preparing for employment. As a New Options client, he has been actively involved in internship opportunities and job searching, and is looking forward to finding a job that will be a good fit for him!

As we grow as an organization and enter our next chapter, we want to develop an even stronger focus on person-centered activities with intentional community-based training that prepares participants, like Luis, for successful long-term employment. One key feature that we envision is a more significant reliance on community partnerships to offer our participants internship opportunities, mock interviews, and workshops, while also providing potential community employers with the training and resources they need to hire people with IDD.

Limitless participant Javier, black and white portrait

Limitless Microenterprise Development Program

Javier is truly an entrepreneur at heart. He's a motivated go-getter who doesn’t allow his disability to limit his potential. After seven years of painstakingly typing out his memoir titled “The Evidence of Her Love,” one letter at a time with a pointer attached to his head, he published this memoir in 2018. This year, Javier is working with Limitless staff to review his original manuscripts and complete the second edition of his work. He is also embarking on a new life chapter by working toward becoming a motivational speaker.

Like Javier, the Limitless program is ready to move on to the next chapters of its story. Our goal for the near future involves encouraging greater engagement from local business leaders where mentorships, training, and business assessment are a regular part of participants’ experience. Limitless business owners like Javier are committed to their craft, and we want to give them the opportunity to not only learn and grow, but also to share their stories and experiences (and products) with the broader community.

Learn more about our programs and about how you can support our work by visiting


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