GAP Westside

Generating All Possibilities (GAP) Westside is based out of West Los Angeles. The GAP Westside Program was developed in response to the community’s need for a program aimed at supporting young adults who are transitioning from high school to college and independent living, and expanded over time to include young adults who are 5+ years out of high school and looking for similar support. This unique community-based day program is an authorized vendor of Westside Regional Center.

GAP Westside offers dynamic support to individuals with developmental disabilities who are on course to obtain employment. Through a variety of hands-on learning experiences, young adults successfully integrate into the community and manage responsibilities associated with independent living. A focus on accountability, responsibility, social skills, and job readiness is infused throughout every aspect of the program. Services include support on college campuses as well as internships and volunteer opportunities with community partners. There are also a variety of workshops and activities designed to spark passion and bolster independence.

Service Locations

Santa Monica College
West Los Angeles College
Westwood Village

GAP Westside Workshops & Activities

Through a diverse selection of workshops, young adults can explore the many possibilities life has to offer them. Workshop topics evolve based on participant interest, input, and demonstrated need. Below are descriptions of a sample of GAP’s workshops and activities.

 

Art & Art Shows

The GAP art workshop explores different art mediums and styles, from watercoloring, abstract, dada, surreal and blind contours to adult coloring and more relaxed, therapeutic realms. Young adults are encouraged to learn new styles and aspects of art, whether they possess the skills of a novice or are more accomplished in their works.

Many of our talented artists showcase their work for fundraisers, art galleries, and community art fairs. GAP helps the artistically inclined to develop their portfolios for sale and promotion.

Budgeting and Money Management

Through our Budgeting and Money Management workshop, young adults learn to spend and save money responsibly. Topics include: understanding how much money everyday items cost, creating a monthly and weekly budget based on income, identifying money correctly (bills and coins), using the dollar-up method (as needed) to complete transactions, and using credit and debit cards responsibly.

Computer Literacy

GAP helps young adults facilitate creative interests and garner job skills critical in today’s workplace. Depending on their abilities, GAP members gain digital literacy from basic computer skills to complex programming. Advanced topics include: scheduling using digital calendars, budgeting for independence, communicating effectively using email and social media, programming a video game using SCRATCH, developing a choose your own adventure story using TWINE, creating 8-bit digital artwork, designing your own website, and more.

Creative Writing

Creative writing workshops provoke creativity, reflection and contemplation. The workshop also promotes self-advocate and self-expression, and provides an engaging medium for participants to work on crucial writing skills that will benefit them in adult life. Projects are differentiated to accommodate a wide range of writing ability, from scribing a journal entry with staff support to independently writing a full-length movie script.

 

Drivers Education

GAP helps young adults who want to earn their Driver’s Licenses learn important driver’s safety information. With the help of various online tools and an app called Drive Fit, eligible young adults are prepared for success in the world of self-transportation and driver awareness.

Film Class

Hosted by a UCLA Film Teacher, GAP members can enjoy a class specially designed for the GAP program. This class helps young adults analyze various films and dissect movie plots, themes, character arcs, settings, narratives, morals, and styles such as Nonlinear, Surreal Comedy, Rotoscoping, Film Noir, Documentary & Biopics.

Individualized Skill Building with Lynda.com

Continuing education is valued at GAP and with the help of a specialist, GAP offers this workshop to help young adults champion skills unique to their goals. Lynda.com is the leading online learning company that provides classes for business, software, technology, language and creative skills to help individuals achieve personal and professional goals.

Japanese/Manga Translating Workshop

Hosted by a Japanese translator, this class consists of activities to help interested young adults master Japanese. The program specialist uses several cutting edge techniques and has worked on several movies such as Kill Bill Volume 1 & 2.

 

 

Résumé Building

Young adults at the GAP program build their resumes through community enrichment and volunteer opportunities. Young adults choose what they enjoy, and GAP works to provide opportunities that may strengthen their resume. Young adults are constantly updating and revising their resumes for the preparation of a bright vocational future.

 

Script Reading

In this activity, young adults get multifaceted exposure to the inner workings of screenplay writing, adaptation, table reading, character development, stage direction, voice over, and more. Outside of the analysis of these industry based aspects, young adults also receive opportunities to grow academically and socially in areas such as teamwork, reading comprehension, patience and listening skills.

Strindberg Laboratory

The Strindberg Laboratory focuses on creating professional theater productions with GAP actors. This partnership builds a creative dialogue and relationship with communities and bring local communities together. GAP actors developed a production called “Daroca’s Curious Journey” and tour around the city.

 

Vocational Opportunities

GAP Westside actively volunteers with several programs within the Westwood community. Participating GAP members are able to be boost their resumes, develop valuable connections throughout the community, and learn their strengths and preferences in a variety of employment-like settings. Below are descriptions of a sample of GAP’s vocational opportunities with community partners.

Meals on Wheels

To date, GAP volunteers have delivered over 15,000 meals to seniors in their community. GAP volunteers learn how to use maps to navigate routes through the local area, give directions to drivers, systematically package deliveries, and interact with the recipients.

Native Plant and Wildlife Garden Education with LA Audubon Society

GAP volunteers meet weekly at Kenneth Hahn State Recreational Area to learn horticultural and agricultural skills from experts from the LA Audubon Society. Volunteers help to maintain different areas of the park, including a greenhouse and the Japanese garden, all while learning marketable landscaping and gardening skills.

OPICA Adult Day Care Center

Volunteers at OPICA contribute to a joyful and nurturing environment for older adults in all stages of memory loss. GAP volunteers have assisted in therapeutic art classes, called numbers for bingo, and danced alongside OPICA patients. With flexibility and a positive attitude, they lend a hand in whichever activities are taking place on a given day.

Salvation Army

GAP volunteers assist at a nearby preschool facility, working in the classrooms and in the administrative office. GAP volunteers perform clerical duties such as typing newsletters, setting up the weekly and monthly calendars, organizing, making copies for administrators and teachers, and greeting families. In the classroom, GAP volunteers engage in literacy activities, dramatic play, and help the children build on their gross and fine motor skills.

UCLA Hospital

At UCLA Hospital, GAP volunteers practice their customer service skills by delivering newspapers to patients throughout the hospital. These volunteers learn to navigate the hospital, follow the rules of working around those with compromised immune systems, and complete a job routine in the allotted time.

We Rock the Spectrum

We Rock the Spectrum is a gym for all children but specializes in the needs of children with special needs. GAP members teach children how to use the equipment, keep the environment safe and clean, and encourage learning through play. GAP members conduct a weekly art class, for which they plan and demonstrate the lesson.

 

General Info

Hours of Operation: 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday

Main Location: Westwood Village
Regional Center Vendor #PW5976

For further information or to arrange a visit please contact:
Sonni Bendetson at [email protected] and 310-475-9620 x222