Embracing Independence Through Bowling

In honor of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana (VOASELA) proudly spotlights its Independent Living program and the extraordinary individuals it serves. Over four years, a tight-knit group of individuals has united to revel in a beloved American pastime—bowling. Among them stand Bobby White, Dexter Washington, Joey Hammonds, and Larry Gordon, champions of the VOASELA family for over two decades.

Reflecting on his journey, Joey Hammonds expresses profound gratitude, affirming, “VOA has enabled me to relish independence.” Joey’s sentiment encapsulates the ethos of VOASELA’s Independent Living program—a commitment to empowering individuals with developmental disabilities to lead enriching, self-reliant lives.

Built on pillars of dignity, respect, and self-determination, VOASELA’s Independent Living program tailors its services to the unique needs of each participant. From aiding with daily tasks to fostering community integration, the program delivers comprehensive support aimed at nurturing autonomy and independence.

The weekly bowling outings have evolved into cherished traditions for Bobby, Dexter, Joey, Larry, and their peers. Beyond the exhilaration of toppling pins, these gatherings cultivate social bonds, camaraderie, and personal growth. Through spirited competition and shared laughter, enduring connections are forged, fostering a sense of belonging and inclusion that transcends the bowling lanes.

For Bobby, Dexter, Joey, and Larry, the road to independence has been marked by resilience, determination, and the steadfast support of the VOASELA community. Their stories serve as poignant reminders of the transformative impact of programs like Independent Living, showcasing the ability of individuals with developmental disabilities to realize their aspirations with the right resources and encouragement.

As Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month unfolds, let us exalt the accomplishments of individuals like Bobby White, Dexter Washington, Joey Hammonds, and Larry Gordon, whose courage and perseverance inspire us all. Through their involvement in the VOASELA Independent Living program, they have not only embraced independence but also paved the way for others to chart their own paths.

In Joey Hammonds’ words, “I would still be in a group home if it wasn’t for VOA.” His testimony underscores the profound impact of VOASELA’s commitment to empowering individuals with developmental disabilities to shape their destinies. Looking ahead, let us continue to champion inclusivity, accessibility, and equity for all members of our community, ensuring that everyone, regardless of ability, can thrive and flourish.

< Back To All Stories
Skip to content